The City of Seneca Steps in to Demolish Collapsed Building on Ma - KOAM TV 7

The City of Seneca Steps in to Demolish Collapsed Building on Main St.


The city of Seneca steps in to take care of a dilapidated building downtown. The building collapsed almost a week ago.

Every time we have a storm with any amount of rain than we have more damage to the building. It's going to give way,” says Seneca Police Chief James Altic.

This weekend's thunderstorms didn't do this dilapidated building any good. What used to be a crack down the side has expanded.  The building is now leaning backwards and sideways, posing a risk to the dry cleaners and barbershop next door, which have been forced to temporarily close because of the major safety hazard.

"Luckily we didn't have anyone walking by as that wall fell. It tore all the electricity off of the back of the barbershop. I mean, people use that back door constantly. Like I said, we were extremely lucky nobody got hurt.”

Neighboring business owners tell me heavy bricks like this have been falling onto their roof for years. But now, that the building has finally collapsed, the situation is too close for comfort.

"It's unfortunate. At one time it was a beautiful building. It's just been left alone to deteriorate to this point that now it's past the point of no return."

Chief Altic says the building's owners, Rochelle and Joyce Boehning, originally bought the property in the mid-seventies, but have done little repairs.

The pair were recently cited for a building violation and slapped with a fine. But for now, it's the city's problem.

"I can tell you that we are going to pursue this very vigilantly to try to recoup our funds for this. I mean it's a sad day when we have to use taxpayer money to help fix a private property issue, and that should have been taken care of years ago. With a little bit of maintenance we wouldn't be in this position."

The city hopes to tear down the building to one story. Chief Altic says the original estimate for the demolition came in around $80,000, but he says after this weekend's storm, the entire building may need to come down, and the cost could be much more. The Boehning’s attorney plans to dispute the city's ruling to Newton County Court. 

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