|Minatare moves on unsafe downtown building|
|August 20, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - The former High Plains Printing office in downtown Minatare has been posted as unsafe after the roof collapsed. The city is working to find a solution to the problem.
The barricades and posted signs tell the story – the vacant High Plains Printing office building in downtown Minatare has been declared unsafe as the city works toward a solution.
A collapsed roof caused the building to be blocked off and posted, although the damage cannot be seen from the street.
City Clerk Carolyn Nelson told city council members the owner, who lives in Colorado, had contacted her about the situation. He indicated he would have a structural engineer inspect the building to determine how it could be brought back up to code.
Nelson told the owner the city needed to hear from him before its Aug. 18 meeting, but has heard nothing since.
City Attorney Audrey Elliott told council members the next step is to contact the owner again via certified mail, notifying him of their intention to gain access to inspect the property by a specified date, and see if he will take action.
“If the owner refuses that, the city can gain access for the inspection,” Elliott said. “We have to be careful to not damage anything, as we’re responsible because it’s someone’s property.”
She also recommended the police chief be there to assure the property is being watched while the inspection is going on.
Police Chief Brian McFarland, who has contact with the owner, offered to call him and ask for permission to go in and inspect the building for other damage beyond the collapsed roof.
“We want to know if the building needs to be condemned, but the owner isn’t cooperating so far,” Elliott said.
After an inspection is complete and reports filed, the city council makes the decision to condemn the building or if the owner should be allowed to make repairs.
Until then, the barricades around the building remain up, warning the public the building is unsafe.
According to records from the Scott Bluff County Assessor’s office, the High Plains Printing building was originally built in 1927 as 2,000 square feet for commercial purposes. In 1950, another 576 square feet were added on for a residence. The last addition was another 576 square feet for commercial purposes in 1965.