Spencer board to discuss rubble of demolished downtown buildings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Steve Huffman
SPENCER ó Members of the Spencer Board of Aldermen will hold a called meeting Friday to discuss the rubble that remains from a pair of destroyed downtown buildings.
The buildings are located at 127 and 129 Fifth St., at the intersection of Yadkin Avenue.
After a months-long squabble between the town and Larry Graves, the owner of the buildings, the structures were finally leveled in October. Prior to their demolition, the buildings had fallen into a sad state of disrepair, with their roofs and walls collapsing.
A structural engineer hired by the town said there was a threat the buildings would fall into the roadway.
The intersection of Fifth Street and Yadkin Avenue was blocked and closed for months.
Town officials received a bid of $77,560 from Greensboro’s Griffin Wrecking Co. to demolish the buildings before Graves finally had the work done.
But the problem didn’t cease once the buildings were leveled. A huge pile of rubble remains where they’d stood.
The resulting debris looks as if a bomb was detonated there in the downtown district.
A code enforcement violation was issued by the town, giving Graves until 5 p.m. Friday to clear the property.
The called meeting of aldermen will be held at 6 p.m.
Aldermen will have the option of approving one of two bids for removal of the debris and transporting it to the town’s landfill on Sowers Ferry Road.
The first of those bids was made by Tommy Long’s Grading and House Moving and totals $7,850. The other bid was by L.P. Barger Jr. Grading and totaled $20,000.
Mayor Jody Everhart said the rubble can’t be hauled to the Rowan County Landfill and dumped because the old bricks are of some value. He said that if the bricks were disposed of, there’s a chance Graves could sue the town for compensation.
Everhart noted that Graves came to a meeting of the town board months ago and promised to take care of the problem with the buildings.
Everhart said he hasn’t heard from Graves since. He said a few pallets of old bricks were pulled from the buildings before they were razed.
The pallets blocked the sidewalk alongside Yadkin Avenue, Everhart said, until the town used a forklift to move them.
Those pallets now sit behind the rubble.
Everhart managed to laugh about the situation Wednesday, admitting he never thought a pair of old buildings could give the municipality such problems.
“It’s no longer a safety issue,” Everhart said. “It’s a nuisance.”
He said Graves’ actions have disappointed him.
“It bothers me that he’s not as good as his word,” Everhart said.