By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Newkirk city commissioners voted to table a measure to declare a Downtown building as dilapidated in the June 28 city commission hearing, and will revisit the measure at the July 12 meeting.
The building, owned by Austin Gregory, has been on the agenda since the May 24 meeting to declare the building as dilapidated, due to structural damage that is forcing the façade to start buckling in the middle. Gregory appealed to the commission to offer time to fix the façade, and the commission tabled it several times. At the June 14 meeting, he was offered one more two-week period if he can secure it.
At the meeting June 28, he said it was not secure yet, but work has begun inside. Fire Chief Adam Longcrier acknowledged that he had started work.
“Since he’s making progress, the commission decided to check in at each meeting to see where he’s at,” City Manage Ryan Sykil said. “We’ll keep looking at it each meeting as the owner keeps working on the building, shoring it up.”
Gregory originally intended to push the façade back inward but is now repairing the building in the inside, pulling the façade back inward.
“The plan is, he’s installing I beams set in concrete in the inside of the building,” Smykil said. He’s going to connect crane cable to a turnbuckle and the building. He’ll ratchet tension on the cable, and that will slowly pull the façade of the building back in place.”
It is believed that while this method may take longer, it is safer both for the public and workers.
“Instead of pushing on the outside, it’s a lot safe to do it over a longer period of time,” Smykil said.
The commissioners will check in with Gregory at the July 12 meeting.