While new lines were painted Thursday on a portion of Main Street that has been closed since a building collapsed last month, Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings said he still does not know when the street will be fully reopened to traffic.
The south side of the 100 block of West Main Street has been closed since a building at 119 W. Main St. collapsed June 3.
Barricades in the middle of the street were removed, and the entire block was closed to traffic, Wednesday evening so the Ohio Department of Transportation could finish striping that portion of the street Thursday. It was the final touch on an ODOT project paving West Main Street (U.S. Route 50) within in the Hillsboro city limits.
The barricades were back up late Thursday afternoon, but Hastings said he and incoming Safety and Service Director Dick Donley may make an announcement about the barricades on Tuesday.
Current Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie’s last day on the job is Friday, Hastings said. As previously reported, McKenzie is leaving the city to pursue an opportunity with a local firm involved in community development.
Hastings said the city had a court hearing Tuesday concerning the collapsed building.
“All I can tell you is it’s frustrating for the me as mayor because I want to get that moving along, but it’s working its way through the legal process,” Hastings said. “We want this done as soon as anybody. The city has also taken some initiative in moving the process along because we’re very frustrated with it.”
The mayor said another court hearing is set for Aug. 7.
“Ultimately, it’s up to the property owner,” Hastings said of getting the collapsed building cleaned up. “He has not demolished it, it’s still an unsafe scenario, and that’s why the street is closed.”
According to the Highland County Auditor’s Office, the Steven Fettro family owns the building.
Meanwhile, there are also legal issues being hashed out between the city’s attorneys and attorneys for Jack Hope and his family, the owners of the four-story Parker House located in the same block as the collapsed building.
In April, the city deemed the Parker House and other buildings on the same block unfit for habitation.
“We’re wanting them to take care of that building also, and we’re getting insistent about it now,” Hastings said.
He said the Hope family feels the city should tear the Parker House down, and that there was an agreement along those lines.
“But the Fettro building collapsed and that took the money we had budgeted for the Hope property. And the Hopes did not fulfill an agreement in time, so we’re wanting them to take care of that that,” Hastings said. “It’s their building, so we think they should take care of it.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.