The Pulaski County Building Inspector will hire a contractor to inspect the rubble of the former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill for asbestos before cleanup of the structure in downtown Monterey can continue. The building at the southeast corner of Main and Walnut Streets fell last Thursday evening. No injuries were reported. Building inspector Dave Dare believes water damage weakened the structure.
The building has been vacant since 2011 and was recently sold at a tax certificate sale, but the transfer of ownership has not been finalized. Dare told the Monterey Town Council he finally spoke to the owner yesterday and was told there is not insurance on the building. The owner also advised she would not be able to help financially with the cleanup.
Dare says the initial cleanup and asbestos inspection meet the emergency qualifications outlined in the unsafe building law. He agreed to cover the $1,500 for asbestos testing from the building inspector’s budget. A Valparaiso-based contractor will perform that inspection and could have test results within 24 hours, according to Dare. If asbestos is found, additional precautions will need to be taken to clear the rubble. Meanwhile, the Monterey Town Council authorized their attorney to send a letter to the property owner advising she has 15 days to provide financial assistance or face a lawsuit. The council will meet again on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. EDT at the Monterey Town Hall to discuss the next steps.