A special call meeting of the city of Hannibal’s Building Commission essentially became a strategy session, should the owner of 213 Broadway not repair or remove the structure, as a judge ordered earlier this week.
City Attorney James Lemon reported that on Tuesday, Associate Circuit Judge David Mobley ordered that the owner of 213 Broadway, Ron Richter of Pleasant Hill, Mo., either fix the faltering structure or demolish it. Richter has 10 days to begin the work and 30 days from when the projects begins to have it completed.
Should Richter not comply with the judge’s order, legal action is being contemplated that, if approved by the judge, would see a lien placed on other Richter properties to cover the city’s costs associated with tearing down 213 Broadway. According to Lemon, the action could also impact even Richter’s properties outside the state.
The city would not be alone in facing costs associated with the removal of 213 Broadway. According to a structural report commissioned by the city, 211 Broadway will require some degree of reenforcement once 213 Broadway has been razed.
Cindy Benjamin, owner of B&B Cut & Style which occupies 211 Broadway, was at Wednesday’s meeting and indicated she has talked with an attorney about the situation. One of Benjamin’s options is to join the city, should it pursue further legal action.
“It’s a problem not of your making,” Lemon told Benjamin.
Asked if she would want to team with the city, Benjamin responded that “most likely” she would.
Benjamin noted that Richter has owned 213 Broadway for over a decade.
“He says he inherited the situation,” she said. “He’s had adequate time to do something. It was fixable back then.”
While the recent structural engineer’s report found that 211 Broadway is safe for Benjamin to occupy at this time, once demolition of 213 Broadway begins she will have to vacate her shop until the demolition and stabilization are completed.
The anticipated cost of demolishing 213 Broadway and stabilizing 211 Broadway was in the neighborhood of $100,000. However, the city has received a demolition estimate of $5,000 from Century Used Brick. However, no estimate has as yet been secured regarding the cost of stabilizing 211 Broadway.
The Building Commission, which consists of Mayor Roy Hark and Councilmen Barry Louderman and James Hark, discussed whether or not the matter needs to be brought before the full Council during its Tuesday, June 18, meeting. Lemon noted that the meeting would occur before the 10-day period had expired that the judge gave Richter. Louderman proposed putting the matter on the agenda for action, subject to Richter failing to take action.