Lawsuit: City wants abandoned building torn down

By: 
Wade Young, Montgomery Messenger

The City of Montgomery is taking the owners of 100 First Street South to court to have the abandoned
building torn down. (Wade Young photo)

The City of Montgomery is taking a property owner to court to force the demolition of an abandoned building on First Street.

The case involves the property at 100 First Street South (corner of Vine Avenue and First Street) owned by Bob and Bonnie Taraba. According to the complaint filed in Le Sueur County on December 29, the city has asked Le Sueur County courts to force the Tarabas to tear down the building that it states is dilapidated, hazardous and beyond repair.

Among the dangers found from an inspection last year, the structure’s roof has leaked apparently by water stains; two-thirds of the ceiling has collapsed; and the building contains an “unreasonably large pile of combustible materials.”

Other findings include significant cracking in the masonry, which poses a risk of collapse, and it is susceptible to harbor rodents, birds and vermin.

According to the court filing, the building’s integrity was witnessed first-hand by fire fighters and a building inspector when Taraba’s other property at 104 First Street South caught fire on July 29, 2020. Another building at 102 First Street, owned by Jeff and Maureen Franek, which shared a common wall, was also deemed a total loss when the fire spread to it. Both buildings were a total loss and were demolished.

Pressing circumstances required the fire department and building inspector to enter the buildings to ensure the fire did not spread to the 100 First Street South building.

The city adopted a resolution to raze the building or fix it. To take corrective actions, it stated, structural engineers would have needed to evaluate the building; permits would need to be issued, and the building inspected.

The complaint stated Taraba has...

To see more on this story pickup the April 1, 2021 print edition of the Montgomery Messenger. 

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