The Town of Walkersville’s Burgess, Town Commissioners, Economic Development Commission, and Planning Commission quickly began discussions about blighted commercial properties over the past several weeks. Since GladeValley.net published articles highlighting the extent of problems on commercial properties in town, one property owner appears to be joining town officials in addressing some of the problems.
Recently, Walkers Village Center’s long-vacant “Medical Center” had its windows blocked with craft paper. The units were filled with black mold and moisture clung to the windows and doors. The light fixtures still have no bulbs along the sidewalk, and graffiti continues to plague the property. Some readers wrote to state that something was taking place at the shopping center.
Indeed, the management of the shopping center choose to take action. This comes after years of neglect and an array of meetings by town officials to update Walkersville’s Town Code to address blight, safety, and health issues on commercial properties.
Contractors have been gutting the units behind the paper. The project involves all but the unit on the far right of the building which last served as a tax preparation service’s office.
Other issues have not been addressed on the properties owned by this corporation, but this presents a positive development. Graffiti and safety hazards present serious dangers and attract problems.
“Some kid is going to get hurt fooling around that bank and those old gas stations across the street,” Marge said as she walked home with her prescription. “Who’s fault is it? The town lets the owner keep it like this,” she continued. Her grandson said lots of kids ride their bikes and skateboards around the buildings surrounded by broken glass and sharp metal hanging off of parts of the buildings.
Profanity adorns buildings and windows. The owner has had the graffiti painted over, but it just comes back. Some of the graffiti is “reverse graffiti.” The kids clean off dirt to create their art or write their profane messages.
Hopefully, the work on the first floor of Unit 100 will just be the beginning of progress at the town’s only shopping center.