The People's Tribune

Bowling Green Forced To Close Street Due To Dangerous Buildings

A block of Court Street, between Main and Champ Clark Drive, will be closed until at least two dangerous buildings can be eliminated.

Bowling Green City Administrator Barb Allison said the decision was made on Monday, Sept. 11. Officials with McClure Engineering made the recommendation after touring the buildings at 202 W. Main and 16 S. Court. Both have a great deal of structural problems and will likely have to be demolished by the city.

The three-story building at the corner of Main and Court Streets previously housed Bowling Green Florist and is owned by Gary Rahmeyer. The other building, known for housing the gas company, is owned by William Butler and Conita Butler.

City Building Inspector Mel Orf was with engineers inspecting the buildings. Both have been deemed unsafe. Orf said engineers determined the buildings could not be salvaged. While not in immediate danger of collapse, the situation must be addressed.

The city will be seeking bids for the demolition of both. The county may decide to include the annex that has a shared wall with the Rahmeyer property. That building has a number of problems as well.

Orf said he couldn’t speculate as to the final cost, but it will likely be in the tens of thousands of dollars. It is also unclear if the city will be able to recoup any of that from the property owners.

As an added measure of protection for citizens, the city was urged to close the block that runs along the most precarious areas of the building. The span of Court Street between Main and Champ Clark Drive will remain closed until there is no longer a threat to the public.

Allison said the city knew that the Rahmeyer property was in bad condition but did not know it had deteriorated so significantly until the inspection on Monday.

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