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Holly Apartments in January 2023. (Photo by Brian Bergstrom / My Buckhannon)

County commission tasks new owner of Holly Apartments with cleaning up the site, will reevaluate in 90 days

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has given the new owners of the Holly Apartments building in Adrian 90 days to clean up the property.

The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a fire spread throughout the whole now-dilapidated building in May 2021.

The Upshur County Commission learned that a recent deed transfer from the John Harmon George Estate to the Randall Hughes Ministry was officially executed through the Upshur County Clerk’s Office.

“We previously discussed this matter and representatives from the Randall Hughes Ministry appeared before when you provided the administrator of the state with 90 days to basically get a property use agreement in place,” county administrator Tabatha Perry said. “Since that time, a deed has been prepared and recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, transferring the property from the estate of John Harmon George, and the one-quarter interest, from Cyrus George to the Randall Hughes Ministry.”

The church restated its intent to clean up the property, including demolishing the now-burned apartments.

“Their first task will be brush-hogging and then they have to demolish the building, so I have discussed this matter with legal counsel and basically at this time, he and I recommend you come back and revisit this property within a certain timeframe, whether that be 30 or 60 days, and determine if they’re making progress,” Perry said.

Upshur County Commissions, from left, Sam Nolte, president Kristie Tenney and Doug Bush at their Jan. 26 meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

The deed was officially recorded Dec. 21, 2022. Upshur County Commissioner Doug Bush made a motion to give the church 90 days and then they would evaluate their progress. The motion passed unanimously.

Previously the county commission voted to utilize eminent domain to raze the property because it posed a safety issue and it was difficult to determine who was responsible for the property. That decision took place at a meeting in August 2022; however, a representative from the Randall Hughes ministry subsequently attended the Oct. 27, 2022, commission meeting to express their desire to tend to the property. The representative said the executor of the estate had already expressed interest in giving the church the property. The commissioners agreed to give the church 90 days to clean the property once the property was officially transferred.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved correspondence from Robbie Skinner, Executive Director of the Upshur County Development Authority, expressing an interest in serving on the Corridor H Authority, effective immediately. Upon approval, this term will expire on June 30, 2025.
  • The commission also appointed Skinner to the Upshur County Farmland Protection Board, effective immediately.

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