Barricades that blocked eastbound traffic on W. Main St. (U.S. 50) in Hillsboro came down after midnight Monday, according to new safety and service director Dick Donley, with the Hillsboro street department removing the barriers to allow east and westbound traffic to resume normally,
“We got it done around midnight last night and the street department opened it up for us,” he said. “The eastbound lane is now open so we can have traffic going both east and west bound, but we’ve still got some of the parking areas closed off and it’ll remain that way until we get the issue resolved with the clean-up.”
He advised motorists to use caution in the area and be vigilant of pedestrians, and to also avoid the sidewalks that are still blocked off to the public.
“It’s still dangerous in there,” he said, “and everything that isn’t cordoned off is free for movement.”
The restrictive barricades were the result of a June 3 building collapse that, according to the Highland County Auditor’s Office, is owned by the Steven Fettro family.
As previously reported, there are also legal issues being hashed out between the city’s attorney and attorneys representing Jack Hope and his family, the owners of the four-story Parker House that is located in the same block as the collapsed Fettro building.
In April, the city deemed the Parker House and other buildings in the same block unfit for habitation.
Linda Hope Doerger, Hope’s daughter and also his power of attorney, told The Times-Gazette Monday that the Hope family transferred the Parker House property to the city on July 10.
“On the morning of July 10, the deed to the Parker House was delivered to the city with the City of Hillsboro listed as owner,” she said. “My understanding is that they simply need to record the deed, but they are refusing to do so.”
Hillsboro mayor Drew Hastings was quoted in the July 25 edition of The Times-Gazette as saying “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.”
Doerger said that Hastings added to the agreement the wording “we would like this transfer to occur as soon as possible,” and there is no expiration date listed in the agreement.
“I have over 25 pages of typed notes recording the date and time of every meeting, e-mail, conversation and phone call both to the city and to the various companies and city departments that were involved in getting everything done to complete the Parker House property transfer,” she said. “It was all done as quickly as each department could possibly do their work.”
In the meantime, Hastings said the city had a court hearing Tuesday concerning the collapsed Fettro building, with another court hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571