Business owners and city at odds on who's responsible for fixing - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Business owners and city at odds on who's responsible for fixing buildings

Who should pay? That's the question some Hannibal business owners are asking after the city sent a letter to two property owners telling them they have 45 days to make repairs to their buildings, but one property owner said she shouldn't be the one who should have to pay. 

City officials say the concern on 211 Broadway is the west wall.  They say it's unstable and a hazard.  However, building owners say the city is going back on its word to help pay for the costs.

Cindy Benjamin had to move her barber shop several weeks ago after the city demolished an adjoining building.  Now she feels like she's the one getting clipped after getting a letter from the city telling her she has to make repairs to her building.

"I had no idea this was going to happen because they've been stringing me along for 13 to 14 weeks, there's never been any talk of me going to have to do anything," Benjamin said. "It's all been 'don't worry about it, we're going to do what we can and we're going to take care of this.'  I feel like I've been lied to.  I've been led along and I've been blind sided big time."

Benjamin estimated the cost to be somewhere around $80,000, but she doesn't feel she should have to pay.  For one reason, she believes the building is in bad condition because of how long it took the city to take down 213 Broadway, plus she says the city hired a contractor to stabilize her building before demolition.
However, building inspector Joey Burnham said the city had nothing to do with the deterioration of Benjamin's building, and the problem was there before the city got involved, so it shouldn't have to pay.  
"The structural engineer we had hired looked at the building before and after and said there was no movement after we took 213 down, so the problems it has, is the problem it had before 213 was demolished," Burnham said.

Burnham said if repairs aren't made in 45 days, the city will have to look at its options to possibly demolish these buildings.  If work is being done, Burnham says the city could grant them an extension to make all the repairs.
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