Downtown buildings in danger of collapsing were discussed. All council members except Alderman Debbie Dust were present, at the council room in the city hall.
Amanda Harlow, city attorney, said that research on a Second Street building has not found the owner. A long-closed business south of Trophies R Us has an owner who has “no assets to tear it down,” Ms. Harlow informed the council.
The roof has caved in, and the middle floor of the 119 S. Locust St. building has fallen, it was said. The two business buildings to the north and south have what is called a “party” wall.
Mayor Sipes added that owners of the abandoned buildings that have not been kept up also have not paid taxes. The city may get the property (from Christian County), but would get stuck with the clean up. The last building collapse in the business district cost the city $65,000 – the owner could not be found.
Although TIF funds can be used for clean up, it (the cost of razing and clean up) could reach into four to five years of the funds, it was said.
“Grant funds don’t exist,” added Jim Deere, director of the Community Development Office.
Harlow also pointed out that one complaint for demolition has been filed elsewhere in town, and another on Maple Street is pending. Also downtown, the Essence of Gospel Ministries is listed as owner of a deteriorating building, but not an individual’s name.
Phil Waddington, chairman of the Community Operations Committee, set a meeting for six o’clock this evening, Thursday, Aug. 26 to discuss school crossing signs, specifications for mowing, and endangered buildings.
Pana City Council next will meet at 7:00 p.m., Monday, Sept. 13 at city hall.