Old Creamery building in RC not a stable structure

It can be hard on a community when an historic building is demolished. But sometimes it needs to be done.
Rush City Council members discussed the legalities of tearing down the Old Creamery, located near Elliot Avenue South and West Fifth Street, at the City Council meeting April 10.
The creamery was built in 1921. It was purchased in 1998 from the current owner, was used for a year or two and then the property was abandoned. Last fall, there was a fire and part of the building burned down. Since then, the city has been trying to get the owner to clean it up.
“We’ve met with the owner multiple times since the fire because the county inspectors have also met with him regarding hazardous waste,” City Administrator Amy Mell said.
The city has written multiple letters to the owner about securing the property, and the owner has been written a ticket because it has not been cleaned it up.
Councilor Al Hoffman brought up the motion to get rid of the building at the March 27 City Council meeting. He said the building really needs to go.
Mell asked City Attorney Ted Alliegro to discuss the legal options regarding the property. Alliegro described the definition of “eminent domain.”
“It’s taking a piece of property for a public works or project,” he explained. “Basically, you are buying the property, but you need to engage in negotiations with the property owners.”
According to Alliegro, the city can get an order, and if the owner does not abide, then the city files with the court and asks the court to intervene. Also, the owner does have a right to a hearing.
“There is a specific statutory provision for this, and all the steps need to be followed,” Alliegro said.
Mayor Dan Dahlberg said tearing down the building could be tough.
“From what I understand, by talking to the firefighters, is that the building is a brick box, with little brick boxes inside,” he said. “Structurally, you just can’t remove brick walls, especially when you’ve got a ceiling sitting on them.”
Hoffman made a motion to have the property appraised. The motion carried with none opposed.
“We appraise the property first and try to negotiate a deal with the current owner,” Hoffman said. “If that fails, then we proceed with haste or other options.”
As an update regarding Kwik Trip, a planning commission meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m. April 24 with the regular City Council meeting immediately following.

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