The Knox Board of Public Works members were made aware of another unsafe structure in downtown Knox.
Building Administrator Kenny Pfost said he received a complaint on Tuesday, Oct. 9 that the roof had collapsed inside the building that formerly housed the Independent Biker Association at 8 S. Main Street. He contacted the owner and set up an inspection with one of the owners on Thursday, Oct. 11.
“There’s quite a bit of water damage to the first floor,” said Pfost. “It had been leaking for some time. There’s an area of the width of the building, approximately 20 feet wide along the alley, where the whole roof collapsed to the basement. I went upstairs and checked out the apartment and found in the dining room where the ceiling is gone. The roof of the first floor that hadn’t collapsed is covered with a tarp. It’s leaking through that and around it. That’s where the water damage on the first floor is coming from.”
Pfost has sealed the building in order to keep the area safe.
The owners don’t have insurance on the building and they have indicated that they don’t have funds to make the necessary repairs to bring it up to code or demolish the building.
Knox Mayor Dennis Estok suggested putting the issue under enforcement and get a structural engineer to see if the building can be rehabilitated or if it needs to be demolished. If it needs to be demolished, the building may qualify for a Blight Elimination grant. Grant money could be obtained for rehabilitation, but Estok warned there are a lot of qualifications a building must meet in order to qualify for those funds.
The mayor noted that the city owns the building directly to the north of the unsafe building and another owner occupies the building to the south.
The Knox Board of Works members approved action to start the enforcement of the building under the unsafe building ordinance.
Photos provided by Building Administrator Kenny Pfost