City taking on dilapidated properties issue

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis City Commissioners voted Tuesday to pass a first reading of an ordinance which would allow the city solicitor to appropriate property through eminent domain processes involving a property on Fourth Avenue.

Commissioners along with the City Manager Gene Green, City Solicitor Adam Salisbury and City Code Officer Brett Bostic have been discussing since summer of last year how to tackle growing dilapidated structure and property problems facing the municipality. As part of legal processes, the city had appraisals done of 754 Fourth Avenue.

“There are liens and other encumbrances on the (property) title that far exceed the appraised value,” Salisbury said. “So, the amount of just compensation we think is zero … for 754 Fourth Ave. The appraised value (of that property) was $12,500. There are liens on that property in excess of $100,000.”

According to Salisbury, earlier last year, with the beginning of the city’s “intent to appropriate” resolutions, the city published its intent in local media as per law. Over that time, the city has discussed and gone through the process of determining the questioned properties’ value through appraisal methods. The city will then determine if it needs to file a suit in common pleas court to act out an eminent domain process and they are finally pushing forward with their decision.

Salisbury said during the Tuesday meeting the eminent domain proceedings were a last resort option. City officials have reached out to owners at the Fourth Avenue location and have not come to a lasting agreement.

City Commissioners asked the solicitor if once the resolutions were passed how quickly the process would take for the eminent domain proceedings to resolve. Salisbury replied “there was still a long way to go” as action is taken in the Gallia Court of Common Pleas.

Meetings in the past indicated that should the city acquire the property, the building at Fourth Avenue would likely be demolished.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright