Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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August 6, 2013

Crews secure the area around ravaged Yum Yums; owners must finish the job inside or face building condemnation

JACKSONVILLE — On Sunday, city officials began the process of trimming the walls and debris in and around downtown's fire-ravaged Yum-Yums structure.

It's been months since a 12:15 a.m. April 28 fire destroyed this building at 215 S. Main Street. It damaged neighboring structures and even killed a pet cat — although it didn't injure any human beings.

City Public Works Director Will Cole explained that the job of city crews Sunday was to convert the outsides of the building husk into a less-dangerous, more manageable form. This process has been in the works since the damage four or so months ago.

“The city is making sure the walls are safe and stable and don't fall on anyone,” Cole said. “We're securing the alley and the street and the sidewalk. We're getting ready to open this area back up to the public.”

 Cole said Monday that the city will next send a letter to the owners of the property and ask them to clean up and repair the inside of their structure.

The owners will be given up to 60 days to finish the job of cleaning the shop up and bringing the inside of the structure into a manageable form, added City Manager Mo Raissi.

“They'll have so many required days to enact repairs and if they don't do it we can take them to court, which will allow us to condemn the building,”  Raissi said.

Cole agreed.

“The issue is, this is on private property,” Cole said. “The city's part in this is mostly making sure everything is secured.”

The property, according to the Cherokee County Central Appraisal District, is valued at $74,970. The clean-up effort cost the city roughly $11,000, according to Raissi. The city bore the expense of the work done on city property. Should the building be condemned, the owners will then be liable for those additional costs.

The property is owned by a Robert and Tina Lane.

Neither of the Lanes immediately answered two designated phone numbers Monday. The voice mail that was available in only one of them was completely full.

 As many as 12 people watched city crews start working on the building in earnest Sunday.

Cole and Raissi watched cautiously and intently — making sure the aforementioned hazards and potential hazards were removed.

 

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