We got call from an Irate Reader who wanted to dress me down for something I'd written recently and to chide me for not taking on "something really important."
Usually, this would not qualify as news (because this happens with alarming regularity). But in this case, the lady had a point. She was talking about a church building on Primrose Road that burned down at the end of January and has had nothing apparently done to it in the last five months.
She said the roof had mostly collapsed into the building, but that there is nothing to keep curious kids from sneaking in to have a look around, as curious kids will certainly do.
So I rode out to Primrose and had a gander. Sure enough, my Irate Reader had reason to be irate, above and beyond my personal and professional shortcomings.
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The roof has largely collapsed into the building and two exterior awnings have lost partial support and are sagging precariously.
"Why don't you write about that?" Irate Lady said.
OK, I will, as you might have guessed by now.
I called the city's Inspections and Code Department, which inspects such buildings and determines whether they should be demolished.
Fred Cobb, the department's assistant director, had some good news and some bad.
Good news? The city has inspected it and condemned it, so it will be torn down, cleaned up and hauled away.
Bad news? Don't hold your breath. The department periodically takes a list of such buildings to Columbus Council for them to approve tearing them down and paying the city's demolition contractor to do the work.
That should happen in about three months, Cobb said, and after that it's up to the contractor in which order they'll be torn down.
Each group of condemned buildings usually takes about a month to all get torn down, Cobb said.
"So, best case, we're looking at about four months," Cobb said.
Veteran readers of this column should recall that there's a process the city has to go through before it can put a building on the list for demolition.
They have to make multiple efforts to contact the property owners and give them a chance to either bring it up to code or demolish it themselves.
But the city had no better luck than I had trying to get in touch with the owners."All communications were returned," Cobb said. "No response."
So, if someone in the church's leadership should see this, you might want to try to do something to secure the building so no one gets hurt in the next four months.