Home Local News Safety concerns with private property cost taxpayers nearly $19K || City seeks...

Safety concerns with private property cost taxpayers nearly $19K || City seeks reimbursement

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Photo: Lea Emerson / eExtra News


The city of Paris is seeking reimbursement after spending nearly $19,000 on fencing around the historic First National Bank building in downtown Paris.

“A year or more ago, the city’s Building Standards Commission ordered David Alarid [the owner of the building] to repair the building and secure the exterior due to failures both of the roof and in his basement under the public sidewalks,” said Paris City Manager John Godwin. “When he did not secure the area, for fear of people being hurt – we have had large pieces of concrete fall off to the sidewalk – we fenced it in to keep pedestrians out.” 

Last week, the city decided to build a new, more permanent fence around the building, having rented a chainlink fence and spent nearly $5,000 so far. That new fence, Jerry McDaniels of the Public Works Department said, cost the city nearly $14,000.

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“Because the chain link fence was so unsightly and we were renting it, and also because we see no short-term end to the safety issues, I decided to put a better looking and more secure fence up,” Godwin said. “I hate our downtown looking like it does on that corner, and we were spending a lot on that rental every month.”

Altogether, the city has so far paid nearly $19,000 total for renting the fence, and now putting up a more permanent one. Godwin said the city routinely bills Alarid for the cost of the fence, but to date, he has not reimbursed the city. Alarid, however, said he has heard nothing about a fence.

“The city did not inform me about it,” Alarid said. “No doubt they will put up a fence and then claim it was necessary and try to bill me for it when the city is the one that refuses to repair the sidewalk that belongs to them and not to me.”

The sidewalk, according to McDaniels, is owned by Alarid.

“That sidewalk is actually the roof of his basement,” McDaniels said. “He is responsible for it, not the city.”

 

Photo: Lea Emerson / eExtra News
Photo: Lea Emerson / eExtra News

3 COMMENTS

  1. Who owns the sidewalk?!? That’s just dumb! In any other town it would be considered a public thoroughfare. Mr Godwin, why not just give Mr Alarid his “red tag” and end this wasteful standoff?

  2. How come the city thought it was so important for this man to fence off his property, but the city can’t make it to where the old Gibraltor Hotel is safe for the public? Right across the street from this man’s property is a massive, crumbling, not effectively fenced off death trap of an abandoned building that is owned by the city. Maybe instead of looking for reimbursement they should have left this man alone and taken care of the monstrosity across the street. For Christ sakes, the roof of the Gibraltor is caved in, in one section. What would happen if God forbid children, or teenagers messing around got in there and got hurt? Not only would there be extreme settlements against the city, but someone could seriously get hurt.

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