by LIZ BEAVERS
Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER — The Mineral County Commissioners will be looking at an “overhaul”  of the county's building safety ordinance when they meet at 4:30 p.m. today.
According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cody Pancake, who briefly discussed the proposal to update the ordinance with the commissioners at the Aug. 10 meeting, the new document does not include “any significant changes,” but is a “more streamlined” version of the existing ordinance.
The commissioners originally passed the ordinance — aimed at solving the problem of blighted properties located throughout the county — in March 2008 following months of discussing and fine tuning.
The ordinance was fashioned after a similar ordinance passed in Raleigh County, W.Va., and, according to Pancake, needed some work.
The proposed draft, Pancake told the commissioners, “will be much more clear.”
Despite those items which the officials felt need clarifying, however, County Planner Scott Clay told the commissioners that the Building Safety Committee — charged with seeing that the ordinance is enforced, as been successful since its inception in the days following original adoption of the ordinance.
Noting that the efforts of the Building Safety Committee have resulted in three blighted properties being razed in the county and several properties being cleaned up, Clay said, “We have gotten cooperation from must about everybody we've encountered.”
The planner is in favor of the ordinance overhaul, however.
“We're trying to get the ordinance to where it's more readable,” he told the commissioners. “It's just too difficult to read.”
According to the agenda for this afternoon's county commission meeting, the officials are scheduled to review the draft of the changes.
Other items on the agenda for today's meeting include: Final plans for the county observance of Constitution Day on Sept. 17, a report on the status of plans to make public notification of impounded dogs and cats, further discussion of the proposed Mineral County Comprehensive Plan, and recommendations for the improvement of the process to apply for Community Participation Grants, among other items.
The meeting gets underway at 4:30 p.m. in the commission room at the Mineral County Courthouse.