Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 15, 2014

Program continues effort to remove dilapidated buildings in city of Princeton

PRINCETON — A city program is continuing to eliminate dilapidated buildings in the city of Princeton, members of the Princeton City Council were told Monday.

Since its inception in 1993, the city’s demolition program has resulted in 523 dilapidated buildings being torn down, council member Dewey Russell said while reporting on the council’s public safety committee. Code Enforcement Officer Bill Buzzo briefed the committee on April 9. The city has been responsible for just one in five demolitions so far.

Structural demolitions were conducted recently at Stafford Drive, Lincoln Street, Beckley Road, 5th Street, Ritter Street and High Street, Russell said.

In the Mercer Street Downtown Project, there have been demolitions and condemnations on several properties. Demolitions have been conducted at 1076 N. 1st Street, 204 Mercer St., and 136 Mercer St. Condemnations have been made at 939, 829, 837, 600, 220, Russell said.Other properties such as the former Lavon Theater at 843 Mercer St., are being restored.

Two new police officers, Matt Combs and Chad Butler, were sworn into the Princeton Police Department. Combs comes to the police department with 14 years of experience with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, said Chief J.W. Howell. Butler will be attending the West Virginia State Police Academy to become certified when a class becomes available. The department now has 20 officers, bringing it to full strength, Howell said.

The Policemen’s Civil Service Commission will be accepting applications and testing on May 10 to replenish the hiring register for the position of entry-level patrolman, Howell said.

The Princeton Fire Department has reported a resignation in the ranks, Fire Captain Keith Gunnoe told the committee, Russell said. The Firemen’s Civil Service Commission will be testing May 3 and May 6 to replenish the hiring register and fill the current vacancy.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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