PIEDMONT - The 30 residents and former residents of Piedmont who gathered recently at the local American Legion to seek ways to handle the local rundown and decrepit structures will now be guided through this process by the West Virginia Brownfield Abandoned Dilapidated (BAD) Building Program.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
PIEDMONT - The 30 residents and former residents of Piedmont who gathered recently at the local American Legion to seek ways to handle the local rundown and decrepit structures will now be guided through this process by the West Virginia Brownfield Abandoned Dilapidated (BAD) Building Program.
Shae Strait, BAD project manager, told the citizens the effort to revitalize the community is a “step-by-step” undertaking, where all types of buildings such as homes, schools, warehouses, and more will be analyzed through a survey to reveal how “they impact the community.”
The process will continue as structures are evaluated, and Strait said that the results will be to determine if the buildings “can be reconciled and brought back to productivity.”
One local structure that caused concern among the attendees is the Feldstein Building, located on the corner of Ashfield and Third streets, where at one time updated apartments existed, and now windows are missing, the roof is partially gone, and the entire building is in the state of decay.
Vicki Smith, finance commissioner for Piedmont, said that she has searched records pertaining to the Feldstein Building, and going through the thick stack of papers, “I have never been able to determine who is the owner.”
Strait said that building “will be put at the top of the list.”
He also suggested the group have a name in order to “have an identity so people can relate to,” and while several names were discussed, the final selection was Piedmont Property Rehabilitation Commission.
Susie Clark, building commissioner, will be the point of contact for future dealings with meetings of the group and related matters.
A survey sheet was distributed to the attendees so they could be familiar on how to conduct this part of the BAD Building process, and advice from Strait was to have teams who work together as the examination of structures are initiated.
The categories involved with the survey of the buildings included minor items such as peeling paint, gutters that need repaired, or the brickwork that is intact but could need repointing, to more severe items such as a sagging roof, leaning chimney, or damage to the wall structure exposing the wood studs.
Strait said that the next meeting of the Piedmont Property Rehabilitation Commission will be held on Thursday, July 19, and by then the inventory of local structures should have been completed.
He added at the July meeting, a list of top concerns about the city’s buildings will be developed and process of “where this community wants to go” will begin