City looking to condemn dangerous building

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - The city of Walnut Ridge hired an engineering firm to inspect several buildings near downtown. Now, one is being considered for condemnation after it was found to be structurally unsound and dangerous.

"Out of all three commercial buildings, the building at 108 Northeast Front Street was the only one that the report indicated was an immediate danger to the street, that could fall out to the street," Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said.

The fire department has now blocked off the sidewalk in front of the building.

The city is currently involved in a lawsuit with building owners over previous condemnations.

"We've been holding off [on condemnations] trying to get something done with the lawsuit, and it hadn't progressed very far," Snapp said.

Despite the suit, Snapp said the building leaning towards the street and posing a hazard warrants him bringing the recommendation to the city council as soon as possible.

"The difference in the reports on the other two buildings show instead of falling out to the street like 108, the other two he expects to pull in because of the way the damage to the roof is," Snapp said. "If they're going to pull in, that's a property owner problem as long as they're not falling a significant amount into the street."

The city council is set to discuss this building at their July 17 meeting.

"We posted a notice on the door for the owner, we mailed a certified letter yesterday to the owner, and I'm under the impression that the code division is going to try to hand deliver them a notice and let them know this is coming up," Snapp said.

Walnut Ridge City Attorney Nancy Hall has also been researching other avenues the city can take for condemnations.

She will present those possibilities to the aldermen Friday, July 7 during a previously called special city council meeting.

Region 8 News reached out to the owner of this building Thursday but did not get a response.

Mayor Snapp said the owner did request a building permit to redo the property at 108 Northeast Front Street back in 2011, but it's unclear if any work was done at that time.

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