Building collapse shuts block in Sprague, business owners get upset



Posted on October 21, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 9:21 PM

SPRAGUE, Wash.--There is a legal wrestling match happening in the Lincoln County town of Sprague. It is over the demolition project of a building that partially collapsed in September of 2013 after a powerful storm.

The rubble has not been cleaned up yet. One block of the main route through town remains closed for safety reasons. Businesses report big losses as a result and want the street reopened.

A fence surrounds the block where a building primarily used for storage collapsed.

A grocery store owner reports a 30 percent reduction in sales since the collapse and block closure.

City officials said the property owner has the responsibility to demolish the building and has hired a contractor.

The city’s building inspector said he expected the work to finally begin in early October.

Lawyers have become involved. The city’s attorney said the contractor refuses to go forward unless the city holds him not responsible for any damage caused to city property during demolition. City officials will not accept that proposition.

   The contractor said the City wants him to cover the cost for repair if a brick were to fall and damage the sidewalk or street.

The property owner said he has had three contractors look at the demolition project and none want to accept the liability the city wants.

The city has given the property owner until the end of the month or he will face legal action.