Crews take down unsafe building in Hollansburg


By Ryan Berry

HOLLANSBURG — A building in Hollansburg that was deemed unsafe and posed an imminent risk of injury or death was reduced to ruble on Friday.

Crews from Mikesell Excavating, New Paris, began tearing down the two-story building almost as quickly as the contract with the county was signed. On Thursday, Darke County Commissioners approved the contract with the demolition crew and by 9:30 a.m. Friday morning most of the building had been knocked down and the debris was being carried away.

Thanks to the quick work by the Village of Hollansburg, Darke County Commissioners, Ohio Department of Development and Darke County Court of Common Pleas, it took a little over a month to get approval to knock down the building down. There were reports the structure was leaning approximately seven to eight feet and threatened to knock out power to the community if it collapsed.

The timeline for removing the building was quick. Village personnel noticed the building was beginning to collapse at the end of July and tried to get approval from the owners, but according to Commissioner Matt Aultman, the estate had nine or 10 owners. On Aug. 28, the village passed a resolution regarding the property at 104 N. Main Street and cited the dangers it posed if it collapsed. The issue was immediately taken to the court and the judge agreed with the village’s motion and issued an emergency injunction. On Sept. 5, the Darke County Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the emergency demolition. During this time, the county also sought approval from the Ohio Department of Development to amend its list of properties slated to be demolished. The county previously received a grant to demolish and clear properties around the county and there were some funds that had not been used. After quickly seeking bids for the demolition, the commissioners approved Mikesell Excavating to perform the work on Sept. 7. Demolition work began on Sept. 8.

At the Sept. 5 meeting of the commissioners, Aultman said, “This has been in the process for a little over a month. It’s one of the buildings that is in town that started to collapse at the end of July.” Because the estate had several owners, the village chose to go through the court system to get approval to remove the structure.

Commissioner Larry Holmes gave credit to all of those involved in the process, “They moved quickly. If you saw the building, you saw the need. We are fortunate they are allowing us to amend the demolition grant.” Holmes pointed to a similar situation in Pitsburg when the former store began to collapse and threatened a neighbor’s home. Unfortunately, the county did not have grant money to tear down that building, and the cost was shared by Darke County taxpayers.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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