The Pulaski County Commissioners have agreed to apply more pressure to the owner of a building that collapsed earlier this year in Monterey. A special meeting on Thursday allowed the commissioners to discuss potential solutions for the site of the former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill. The building collapsed in April, leaving debris and asbestos behind.
Pulaski County Attorney Kevin Tankersley says that when something like this happens, the county can take immediate emergency action.
“It’s important to remember we don’t have the right to go on people’s property and control how their buildings are unless there’s a specified reason by statute that gives us the right to walk onto it, and it’s very limited in its nature when you do so.”
The commissioners have communicated with officials from the Town of Monterey, but sticking points remain when it comes to clean-up of the site. Among those sticking points is how to pay for the clean-up and what sort of liability removal efforts might create.
Pulaski County has already taken measures to help improve safety at the site, constructing a fence around the debris, and testing for asbestos. A $5,000 fine was previously assessed against the owner – who resides in Culver.
Tankersley says there are additional problems with what it means to “clean-up” the site.
“The clean-up would involve moving all the bricks and asbestos, filling in the hole with something permanent, concrete or something, and reinforcing that wall in some way.”
To encourage the building owner to comply with clean-up requests, the Pulaski County Commissioners agreed to assess an additional $5,000. That brings the total fines to $10,000.
At least one representative of the Pulaski County Commissioners will attend the next Monterey Town Council meeting to further clean-up discussions.