Deal, or No Deal?

Editor, News-Register:

If rumors are true, our current mayor and city council continue to show why they’re way out of their element when it comes to redevelopment. The most recent rumor is that the new owners of 1107 and 1109 Main Street (which the city bought for $300,000) have been unable to secure the services of a roofing company to re-roof those structures. Again, the rumor cites concerns for the safety of workers on what is perceived to be structurally unstable buildings.

If that’s the case a couple of questions come to mind. First, is, or was, the city of Wheeling aware of these structural concerns at the time they were marketing these buildings? Second, now that these concerns have been raised, shouldn’t the new owners, or the city of Wheeling, engage a structural engineer to certify the structural integrity of the buildings? A reasonable person would assume that, unless the buildings were sold “as is,” the city of Wheeling may be still on the hook, and the sale agreement would be in question.

More troubling than that is what I heard this morning (Tuesday) that the new owners, and/or city, are continuing to seek quotes from additional roofing firms. Where are the city building inspector and the city engineer? Let’s clear the air, and remove all concerns about how structurally safe these buildings are before putting lives and property at risk.

Some old buildings are just old buildings, hold no historic significance, and are economically beyond re-purposing. A quote taken from a previous newspaper article and attributed to Vice Mayor Chad Thalman is that “similar redevelopment” (like 1107 and 1109 Main Street) “could happen at the four buildings the City owns in the 1400 block of Market Street.” He went on to say “I believe City Council would be willing to work with developers in a similar way to get that site developed.” My comment is “God Forbid”!

Hope springs eternal!

J. Jacobs



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