Recent comments made by the purchaser of the former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill have brought additional clarification by one member of the Pulaski County Commissioners.
William Sturgeon signed for the deed to the collapsed structure in Monterey in May of this year with the intent of rehabbing what’s left of the building. Future uses for the former Sportsman’s site have not yet been determined, but Sturgeon says he hopes to have more information as work progresses. Following the purchase, however, Sturgeon said he didn’t feel the Pulaski County Commissioners had done enough to remedy the problem.
Reading from a prepared statement, Commissioner Terry Young says he takes issue with the comment.
“This whole thing was a matter of the former property owner’s negligence and irresponsibility,” says Young. “The county’s obligation was to safely secure the property, nothing more. Many did not want to understand that this is private property and the county, nor anyone else, had any legal authority to do anything.”
In his comments, made to WKVI radio in a story which aired on June 30th, Sturgeon said that the people who “…could have been doing something about it, did nothing about it.” The new property owner was referring to the Pulaski County Commissioners.
The former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill collapsed in April of 2015, prompting health and safety concerns in the Town of Monterey. Additional concerns were brought up when it was discovered asbestos was present at the site.
Young says in a statement that he made numerous phone calls and held numerous meetings to help remedy the situation. A fence was also erected around the site to prevent trespassers and possibly dangerous situations. Further, Pulaski County Attorney Kevin Tankersley provided aid to Sturgeon when he took control of the deed.
Despite the comments, Young says in a statement he is pleased the building is in new hands.
“I am quite glad this issue is over,” says Young. “I hope the Town of Monterey helps out Mr. Sturegon with his efforts.”
As the new owner, Sturgeon has requested the Town of Monterey relieve the property of back taxes and sewer liens to compensate him for his rehabilitation efforts.
Pulaski County does not see itself as involved in the decisions at this point. The fence surrounding the site will remain in place until clean-up has been completed.