KEYSER - A cooperative agreement between the City of Keyser and some law students from West Virginia University is expected to result in assistance with cleaning up some of the blighted properties in town and finding some use for the current FEMA lots along Water Street.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - A cooperative agreement between the City of Keyser and some law students from West Virginia University is expected to result in assistance with cleaning up some of the blighted properties in town and finding some use for the current FEMA lots along Water Street.
Keyser City Council member Eric Murphy announced Wednesday that he had been working with an instructor at the WVU School of Law to bring the program to Keyser.
He said the program would involve an instructor and two law students working with city employees.
“They’re going to help us go through our ordinances on blighted and delapidated properties,” he said. “They’re also going to help us gather up information on all the FEMA lots and what we can or can’t do with them.”
Council member Terry Liller seemed pleased to hear about the assistance with the city’s growing problem of blighted properties.
“This will result in us having a better idea of what we can do with these lots,” he said.
As for the FEMA lots, they were once privately owned properties along Water Street but because they were prone to flooding FEMA purchased the properties through a buyout program, had the homes razed and turned them over to the city for maintenance.
According to the program, no permanent structures can be built back on the lots. They can, however, be used as parking lots or, as in the case of the lot at the intersection of Cliff and Water streets, be turned into a park.
The current administration, however, has expressed their desire to  look into the possibility of other uses for the lots, and in order to do so must find out whether the city or FEMA has official ownership.
Murphy said the project with the law students would come free of charge to the city.
“I think this could be a very good thing, and it certainly is a very good price,” mayor Damon Tillman said.
Liller made a motion to approve the agreement with WVU, and council member William Zacot seconded it. The motion pased 5-0.