Monterey Seeks Help from Pulaski County, after Sportsman’s Rubble Encroaches on Street

More than two years after the collapse of the Sportsman’s Bar and Grill in Monterey, some of the rubble still hasn’t been cleaned up. 

Now, the construction fence surrounding the property needs some maintenance, according to Town Board President Doug Denton. “What’s happening is, as it will happen, weather, rain – we’ve got a lot of rain and stuff – we’re getting debris off the site shoved into the fence. It’s shoving the fence into the street,” he told the Pulaski County Commissioners Monday. “So that’s right there on the curb. Now, I’m not asking anybody to touch the site, but all this is on the sidewalk proper.”

Since the fence technically belongs to the Pulaski County Building Department, Denton asked the county commissioners for help. “There is metal pieces, if you look at that, there’s some pieces that have come off the building,” he explained. “It’s leaning into the fence. There’s shards that are pushing through the fence and things. I mean, you could walk by it. You could get cut.” The commissioners voted to allow the county highway department to help push the debris back onto the lot and fix the fence.

The property was purchased last year by William Sturgeon who said he wanted to clean up the site. But Denton said he supposedly ran into some challenges. “He cleaned probably 90 percent of it out of there, and then he had a run-in with you guys on taxes about back taxes and all this stuff,” Denton explained. “[He said] he was supposed to have all of his taxes forgiven and all these sort of things. And then he couldn’t get money because, basically, he couldn’t get a loan against the property because it had to be clear for a bank to do a loan against it and he had liens and on and on and on and on. So anyway, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of him in almost a year.”

Denton also expressed concern that the rest of the structure might collapse. “That building isn’t getting any better,” he said. “So I mean, at some point, you’re going to have to revisit this. If not sooner than later, then that’s going to be another pile sitting there, and it might be laying on Main Street.”

Meanwhile, the Town of Monterey has paid to have the title work done, and Town Attorney Justin Schramm is working on the Phase 1 Assessment to make the property more attractive to potential buyers.