Downtown Eyesore To Be Cleaned Up

August 21, 2003 - Posted at: 5:59 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark.-- If you've driven downtown on Union street in Jonesboro, then you've seen it, because you can't miss it. It's the charred remains of a building that burned three months ago.

Business neighbors say it's an eyesore, it's dangerous, and it smells. The city agrees and issued condemnation papers to the owner, Bill Ebbert, on Thursday.

City Code Enforcement Officer Doug Little says, "so that means he'll have ten days to reply to tell us what his plans are. If nothing's done then, we'll send him another letter saying the building will go up before the council for condemnation and he'll have 30 days to do something then."

Just hours after K8 cameras arrived at the property, the owner, Bill Ebbert, showed up to begin the clean up and tried to explain why it's taken so long.

"First we had the fire, then we found we had insurance to cover the clean up, at least some insurance," said Ebbert. He added, "Then the insurance company delayed horribly. They sent the money, but once the money came, the check was no good for another week, the bank had to hold it. Now our intent all along of course was to clean it up."

And Ebbert says he will follow through on his intentions.

Ebbert claimed, "We're trying to learn what we're going to do. But we are going to clean the area up. I don't know how long it'll take because I've never had a fire like this before."

And he said he hopes he never has another one and doesn't know what he'll do with the property once the site is cleaned up.