Public Safety Must Be Priority

Shadyside officials are trying hard to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money. They understand there are many pressing needs within the village.

But if the situation with a dilapidated building at the corner of East 39th Street and Central Avenue is as serious as it appears, municipal officials may have no choice but to spend whatever it takes — as much as $100,000, it has been estimated — to demolish the structure.

Village Council members have been discussing the problem for some time, in attempts to resolve it as efficiently and economically as possible. But the building, located in the central business district, is tied up in a lawsuit, along with issues regarding delinquent taxes.

Unfortunately, it has deteriorated to the point that there is concern it may collapse. School buses have been rerouted to avoid coming near the building.

One fiscal concern is that if village officials have the structure demolished, they may be unable to collect reimbursement from the estate that owns it.

If state law hampers such reimbursement, it ought to be changed.

In the meantime, however, public safety needs to be the overriding issue. If Shadyside officials have reason to believe the building presents an imminent threat, they should have it torn down as soon as possible.