MATOAKA, WV (WVNS)– A teardown project is underway in Mercer County’s Matoaka to help make the downtown area safer.

Several buildings in the downtown area of Matoaka will be completely demolished on Thursday, September 7, 2023.  The reason is due to safety concerns for the locals roaming the area while these buildings are on their last legs.

This project has been in the works for almost a year. Mercer County was awarded $1.5 million in grant funding to get these buildings torn down.

“We’re working now to take seven buildings down here in the, what you would call it the downtown area of Matoaka. And some of these buildings date back to the 30s and the 40s… We had a hold up with SHPO, the state historic preservation folks, that took a little bit extra time on these buildings. But we basically got the greenlight a little less than a month ago. So, we’re moving forward.”

Lori Mills, Dilapidated Structures Officer for Mercer County

Though Matoaka is losing a few buildings, Mill assures the community the teardown project will help keep the streets safer for everyone.