Three houses deemed blighted

Published 11:13 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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After years of discussion and attempts by the Town of Victoria to work with property owners, three properties in Victoria were placed in a Blight Abatement plan Tuesday, April 14 during the Victoria Town Council meeting.

As part of the Blight Abatement Plans and Ordinances, the property owners were given 30 days to remove the structures. The three properties are located at 1907 10th Street, 1600 Virginia Avenue and 1606 Virginia Avenue.

Town Manager Rodney Newton told the council the town had tried to address the situation with the properties through maintenance violations to get the structures repaired, but had no success. The town recently adopted a blight abatement plan in order to clean up several locations around the town that have fallen into disrepair.

Council voted to approve the Blight Abatement Plan and Ordinance for all three properties.

In other items on the agenda –

• The town council approved a $2 per month increase in residential and commercial sewer rates. The rate for the Virginia Department of Corrections sewer account was set at $2,410.56 per month. The increase will not be enacted until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

• Councilmember Ronald Mattox brought a recommendation to the board from the Victoria Planning Commission to approve a special use permit for a manufactured home near the intersection of W. 5th Street and Virginia Avenue. The home met all the town’s requirements of a manufactured home except for the roof pitch. The special use permit was approved.

At the recommendation of Newton, the town council decided not to hold its annual budget workshop in April given the current status of the COVID-19 situation. Newton will send out budget information to members of town council.

Bids are being evaluated for the roof replacement over the administrative section of the STEPS building. Work is being done by the public works department to trim hedges and trees around the building.

Newton told the board about an ongoing roof leak in the rear of the town’s municipal building. He said the leak needs to be fixed before any further structural damage occurs. Newton was approved by the board to allocate $6,325 to repair the roof.

Council was given an update by Newton that the transfer of the former Centra property to the town was almost complete. Town attorney Robert Clement negotiated the limitations on the use of the building down from 20 years to 10 years.