MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The demolition of an old building in Downtown Meridian is complete. It was torn down after the city determined it was a potential danger. Instead of the city taking action to prevent its collapse, the owner hired a contractor. Community Development Director, Bunky Partridge helped oversee the project through the courts system.
"This is proof our environmental court is working. Because the gentleman did meet us in environmental court. We all agreed the building needed to come down. It was not stable enough for Downtown Meridian. We were concerned for public safety. We are glad to see it come down and I know the residents of downtown are glad to see it also, said" Partridge.
The building sat next to Dumont Plaza on 4th Street and behind the Rosenbaum Building on 5th Street. It has been around since the 1800s. It was previously a bank and later developed into a retail store. Over the past decade the building was vacant and erosion set in.
"The gentlemen who purchased it was hoping he could rebuild it. But it was not stable enough to maintain it. It became a financial burden on him., said" Partridge.
It got to the point it could have collapsed and potentially caused harm to someone.
"We had local residents, some of the business owners who were concerned about it because of stability. The back end of it was caving in, said" Partridge.
This site is one of many condemnation and demolition projects the city is working on. City officials plan is to start the demolition of homes in poor condition by early next year.
"We are always looking at our homes around Meridian, condemning them. We are also looking at new businesses too. That all comes through our department. We are looking for a real bright future in 2017. We hope to make some great announcements, said" Partridge.