Sept. 30: Deadline to address collapsed building


(Posted Sept. 24, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

The 30-day deadline is drawing near to repair or demolish a building that collapsed in downtown West Jefferson. The owner’s insurance adjuster and the village are waiting on bids for demolition.

One portion of the two-story brick structure, located at 38 W. Main St., collapsed before dawn on Aug. 30, plunging residents in the upstairs apartments to the street along with their possessions. The downstairs dental office of Dr. Gerald Weissman, the building’s owner, was not severely damaged.

Nearly a month after the incident, bricks are still scattered at the fenced-in corner. Traffic is being maintained but must skirt the fence that extends into the street.

At the Sept. 21 village council meeting, former council member Sheila Nelson said some people worry that the building won’t be taken care of.

Zoning Inspector Arnie Booth assured village residents that bids are being sought and the building will be demolished.

Booth issued a code violation to Weissman hours after the building collapsed, stating that Weissman had 30 days to start repairs or demolish the building.

“If this isn’t started or accomplished by the Sept. 30 due date, then the village will seek court action to do it ourselves,” Booth said.

If the village has to tear down what remains of the building, the village will assess all costs to the owner.

Booth said he is working with the Jefferson Township Fire Department to waive the Environmental Protection Agency’s 10-day waiting period for asbestos removal so that when a contract is awarded, the demolition crew can begin within 24 hours of being awarded the work.

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