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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • City pursuing nuisance charges against another downtown building owner

  • For the second time in less than a year the city of Hannibal has filed a nuisance complaint in Circuit Court against the owner of a downtown building that has been deemed a hazard.
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  • For the second time in less than a year the city of Hannibal has filed a nuisance complaint in Circuit Court against the owner of a downtown building that has been deemed a hazard.
    The latest building is located at 213 Broadway.
    “We’ve got a major problem,” said City Attorney James Lemon. “The back side of the building is collapsing into the alley. It poses a danger to passersby. We have a concern that it might also show there is a danger of collapse which once again would be a danger to passersby.”
    The city has had its eye on the property for a “few years,” according to Joey Burnham, building inspector.
    “We’re looking at it a little closer now because we do have some bricks falling on it,” he said. “We’ve had a little bit of movement on part of the upper wall in the back. Some bricks came out there, otherwise nothing else is going on.”
    In an effort to spur the property owner into action the city has filed a common law nuisance complaint against Ron Richter of Pleasant Hill, Mo.
    “We’ve asked the court to order the owner to either repair the building or take it down so that it will not continue to be a nuisance or hazard to the people of Hannibal,” said Lemon.
    The city’s course of action is identical to what it did in 2012 against the then-owners of the old Maryland Hotel (Conklin Hotel) in downtown Hannibal, Jim and Sheryl Love. In November, the Loves sold the property at 314, 316, 318 Broadway to Bricker Excavating/Demolition, which intends to tear down the structure as soon as the relocation of phone lines that run through it are relocated.
    Problems at 213 Broadway date back over a decade. During a routine Fire Department inspection of the building in April 2002, it was determined its walls were leaning. That prompted Karen’s Dance Academy, which had operated at the location for 13 years, to relocate.
    In 2003, the city hired Klingner & Associates, P.C., to conduct a structural inspection of the property after the building immediately behind 213 Broadway began dropping bricks into the alley between 213 and 217 Broadway. That prompted the city to close the alley temporarily. It also led to 213 Broadway being condemned.
    After work was undertaken at 213 Broadway to again make it structurally sound, the city lifted the condemnation notice in August 2003.
    In September 2009, a member of the building inspector’s office reported that when the city had adequate funds, it intended to bring down 213 Broadway unless significant renovations were undertaken. At the time, it was estimated the cost to tear down 213 Broadway and help stabilize two adjoining buildings would run in the neighborhood of $100,000.

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