Monterey Official Hopeful Downtown Streets Can Reopen

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A new, stronger fence around the former Sportsman’s Bar and Grill should allow Main and portions of Walnut Streets in downtown Monterey to reopen later today. WKVI News file photo

A new fence around a collapsed building in downtown Monterey should be in place by this evening. Monterey Town Councilman Doug Denton says the Pulaski County Building Inspector advised a chain link-type fence will be placed around the rubble from the former Sportsman’s Lounge at the southeast corner of Main and Walnut Streets.

The bar had been closed for several years at the time of the April 23rd, 2015 collapse and was not insured. It had recently been sold at a county certificate sale due to unpaid taxes. However, the property transfer had not been completed, and the purchaser opted out of the deal.

The Pulaski County Commissioners have levied fines against the owner to no avail. The discovery of asbestos in the rubble has further hampered the cleanup process. Denton says he’s talked to officials with U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s office about options for clearing the site.

He adds the placement of a new, more sturdy fence should allow all of Main and most of Walnut Streets to reopen. Recent high winds blew more debris into the streets. He reminds people to stay away from the site due to concerns over safety.