Strides being made
This week, Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham briefed the county commission on the progress of demolitions in the county.
Burcham said, to date, 180 blighted and abandoned structures have been torn down and, if things proceed as planned, that number will reach 240 by the end of the year.
While the land bank has been concentrating on residential buildings, which have been vacant for a year and are delinquent on taxes, it has also demolished on commercial property, the former Pulley Nursing Home in Burlington, which came down last year.
And plans are in the works to tear down more nonresidential buildings, as Burcham said the land bank has acquired the empty Shenanigans bar and a vacant former church in Ironton. He made a request on Tuesday for a grant from the commission to tear down these properties.
It can not be said enough how much of a benefit the land bank, under Burcham’s leadership, has been to the county since established. In fact, it has proven to be such a success, other states have met with officials from Lawrence County, in the interest of starting a similar effort in their area.
Along with the work of Operation First Impression, strides are being made to clean up the county and make it more appealing to prospective residents and businesses.
While there is much still to be done, we should all be thankful for this progress.