Upshur County Commission President Kristie Tenney at the commission's June 29 meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

County votes to ask rep from ministry that owns Holly Apartments to appear after little clean-up progress is made

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission voted to invite a representative from the Randall Hughes Ministry to their next meeting on July 13 to discuss the status of the former Holly Apartments property.

The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a fire spread throughout the whole now-dilapidated building in May 2021. The deed to the property was transferred to the Randall Hughes Ministry in January 2023.

The Upshur County Commission evaluated the progress of the ministry’s cleaning up of the property during their June 29 meeting after they gave the property owners a 60-day extension during their April 27 meeting.

“My last call with Mr. Hughes, was June 5, and he was still waiting on the contractor to complete work,” Upshur County Administrator Tabatha Perry said. “I took some photos when I drove by yesterday, and it appeared to be in the same state as previously. There are at least three walls still up, which they may want to keep – maybe it’s a good structure – but there still appeared to be significant debris, and a large piece of equipment is still sitting in the middle.”

Perry said the property owners had received two extensions from the county to clean up the property, including a 90-day and 60-day extension.

“At the end of January, you gave the new property owners 90 days to make substantial progress and then in April, you gave them an additional extension due to the equipment failure, but I have not seen any progress since then,” Perry said.

Upshur County Commission President Kristie Tenney said she wanted to speak to someone from the ministry before taking any action.

“I have received a couple of calls from some individuals that have concerns about the property, so what I would like to suggest is that we have somebody come in during our next meeting on July 13 and ask what the status is and get an update,” Tenney said. “I’d like to speak to somebody and see if we could have someone to tell us what the status is.”

Commissioners Sam Nolte and Doug Bush agreed and approved a motion to invite someone to represent the Randall Hughes Ministry at their next meeting.

The commission also took the following actions before adjourning:

  • Approved and authorized to submit an electronic signature for the FY 2023 Airport Improvement Program Grant Agreement and related documents made possible through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program for the Upshur County Regional Airport in Buckhannon.
  • Authorized Upshur County Commission President Kristie Tenney to submit the FY 2023 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – Airport Infrastructure Grant Project Agreement and related documents made possible through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program for the Upshur County Regional Airport in Buckhannon.
  • Approved a request from Judith L. Williams, director of James W. Curry Public Library, requesting approval of the expenditure of $175 payable to Skateland for rink rental on Aug. 8, 2023. This is for the grand finale event for the “Camp iRead: Find Your Voice” 2023 Summer Reading Program.
  • Approved revisions made to the Upshur County Farmland Protection Program dated May 9, 2023.
  • Approved and signed the Community Development Block Grant Amendment No. 6, for the Elkins Road PSD Phase III Water System Improvements project.
  • Approved correspondence from Carol J. Smith, Upshur County Clerk, requesting the employment of Donna J. Bishoff, as full-time Deputy County Clerk, effective July 24, 2023.
  • Approved the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility Volunteer Barbara Pullen.

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