The Holly Apartments on Route 20 South have finally been demolished, the commissioners announced last month. At the commission's Nov. 16 meeting, they officially declared the case closed. / My Buckhannon file photo

County commission officially closes Holly Apartments property case

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has officially closed the case against the owners of the old Holly Apartments property after demolition was completed.

The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a May 2021 fire spread throughout the now-dilapidated building, visible along Route 20 South in Adrian. During the Upshur County Commission’s Nov. 16 meeting, they officially deemed the site safe after the remnants of the building were removed.

Following the fire, the property became a safety hazard, and the commission began discussing how to make the site safe again. Originally, the property was owned by the estate of John Harmon George and was later transferred to the Randall Hughes Ministries after the fire.

During a January 2023 commission meeting, the commission allotted Randall Hughes Ministries 90 days to clear the debris from the building. Due to various issues, including difficulties with a contractor, the commission subsequently gave Randall Hughes Ministries three 60-day extensions to conclude the structure’s demolition.

At the commission’s Oct. 26 meeting, Commission President Kristie Tenney said commissioners were thrilled to see that the main building had finally been demolished.

“While the commission recognizes the extended length of time it took for the former Holly Apartments property to be cleaned up, the future community center would not be possible without the generous donation from the George family,” Tenney said in a prepared statement. “The Upshur County Commission appreciates the Randall Hughes Ministry for spearheading this project and for taking into consideration the needs of the community they serve.”

Linda Hughes, a representative from the Randall Hughes Ministry, told the commission during a July 2023 meeting that they hoped to develop the land into something the community could use and enjoy.

“Eventually, as the church gets the money, we would like to make a community center,” Hughes said. “There’s a stream between the property, and there’s a little island, so we hope to develop that and make a little bridge across and allow the community to use it for whatever they want.”

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved and signed an agreement and terms of acknowledgment between Motorola Solutions and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department for the acquisition of in-car cameras and related support equipment.
  • The commission approved and signed a resolution to create a checking account designated as Fund No. 42 EMS Salary Enhancement Fund per WV Senate Bill 737.
  • The commission approved a proposal from Commercial Technology Group, LLC for time and attendance software and implementation. Upon approval, the commission authorizes the commission president to execute a sales agreement for a one-year period.
  • The commission approved and signed two sworn statements of expenditures for funds received from the Division of Justice & Community Services in the amounts of $78,613 for expenditures incurred in FY 2021 and $14,320 for expenditures incurred in FY 2022.
  • The commission approved and signed the Victims of Crime Act Grant Contract Agreement, Resolution, and Schedule of Payments. The grant award is in the sum of $38,595 to be used to provide crime victims notification of criminal charges, personal safety planning, court accompaniment, court notifications, change in case status, assistance obtaining restitution and referrals.
  • The commission approved the adoption of a revised Upshur County Safe Sites and Structures Ordinance complaint form, as recommended by the Safe Sites and Structures Board.
  • The commission approved a grievance procedure for complaints relating to suspected or alleged discrimination on the basis of handicapped Status in Upshur County, West Virginia.
  • The commission approved correspondence from Carol J. Smith, Upshur County Clerk, requesting the employment of Vanessa L. Dean as full-time Deputy County Clerk, effective Dec. 10, 2023.
  • The commission approved Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility volunteer Yvette Shultz.
  • The commission approved a request from the Lewis-Upshur Community Criminal Justice Board to advertise for one full-time case aide with the 26th Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Day Report Center. Applications are due on or before the close of business on Dec. 1, 2023, and can be dropped off at the Office of the Upshur County Commission in the Administrative Annex, the Upshur County Day Report Center or the Lewis County Day Report Center.
  • The commission approved correspondence from Tabatha Perry, county administrator, requesting the appointment of James Moore to Region VII Planning and Development Council as public sector representative, effective immediately.

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