Date to reopen West Main St. remains unknown


Hillsboro City Council welcomes new member

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenize looks at documents during Monday’s city council meeting.

Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenize looks at documents during Monday’s city council meeting.


Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette

Exactly when the south lane of the 100 block of West Main Street will reopen following the collapse of a building remains unknown, Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie said at Monday’s city council meeting.

McKenzie said the company that had insurance on the building at 119 W. Main St. is interested in seeing it demolished, but the insurance adjuster is on vacation until July 15.

“So unfortunately, we’re on hold until then,” McKenzie said.

He said the insurance company is not interested in rebuilding the building because the collapse was caused by owner negligence.

“So until then we have to leave that side of the street closed,” McKenzie said. “From a safety aspect, we have to do what we have to do. We got really lucky that no one was injured in that collapse.”

He said the Ohio Department of Transportation’s “patience is growing thin” with the closure since Main Street (U.S. Route 50) is a major truck route.

But, McKenzie said, “I can’t tell you a date right now exactly when it will open.”

The south side of the 100 block of West Main Street has been closed since the building collapsed on June 3.

The safety and service director said in his report to council that litigation was recently filed to make him the the temporary receiver to abate the nuisance caused by the building’s collapse. He said he also spoke with a local contractor about the cost of saving the building immediately to the east, which was occupied by Bon Appetite Gourmet Shoppe & Gifts until the collapse. He said the cost was estimated at $75,000 to $125,000.

“That really is not feasible,” McKenzie said.

On top of that, McKenzie said, the cost to clean the collapsed building up was estimated at $40,000 to $75,000, depending on whether that included the collapsed portion of the building, or that part plus the portion of the building behind it to the south that is still standing.

“That’s a lot of money to shell out for what amounts to public owner negligence,” he said.

Answering a question from councilman Justin Harsha, McKenzie said the barricades in the 100 block of West Main Street have been placed in the center of the road because of the way nearby buildings would fall if they collapse. He said the building that collapsed had a wall bulged out from the bottom, causing it to primarily fall in on itself. But he said buildings to the west have bulges higher up on them and if they were to collapse, they could fall into the street.

In other news from the meeting, council member Ann Morris said the property maintenance and restoration committee discussed purchasing and razing the Parker House during recent meetings. She also said the committee discussed a pending sale of the former BP station on West Main Street, possible uses for the former fire house, railing for the Colony Theater Park, and new signs at the city’s main entrances.

McKenzie said the old signs would be removed, and that one new sign had already been erected. “The mayor wanted it up before the (Festival of the Bells) as people were coming into town,” he said.

At the beginning of the meeting council welcomed new member Patty Day. She fills the unexpired term of Wendy Culbreath, who resigned early last month when she moved out of the city’s Third Ward.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenize looks at documents during Monday’s city council meeting.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/07/web1_McKenzie-council-pic-1.jpgHillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenize looks at documents during Monday’s city council meeting. Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette
Hillsboro City Council welcomes new member

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com