New affidavit says Troy Tavern building’s wall can’t reasonably be fixed

TROY — Miami County’s chief building official said in an affidavit filed Thursday, July 13, that there is “no safely feasible way” to shore up the north wall of the Tavern building in Troy’s historic district.

The building at 112-118 W. Main St., with portions dating to the early 1800s, continues to be the focus of debate and multiple court filings arguing its fate.

An order issued June 23 by Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall ordered building owner 116 West Main to shore up the north wall by July 7. The order also said she would appoint an independent expert witness to provide a structural analysis of the building because of conflicting engineers’ reports filed in court cases.

Wall appointed Daniel Geers of Jezerinac, Geers & Associates of Dublin as the expert on July 5. Parties to the litigation had until Friday, July 14, to object to the appointment. The expert’s fees will be paid by the parties.

Chief Building Official Rob England said in the affidavit filed with the Common Pleas Court that he met this week with owner Randy Kimmel and his lawyers and advised him of the opinion. He said it was based on his years of construction experience, background and training and the belief of the county’s third-party engineer.

On June 16, Miami County prosecutors filed a request asking Wall to order demolition of the building, noting findings by England and Troy Fire Chief Matthew Simmons that the building was a public threat.

Wall denied the request and made the other June 23 orders. County prosecutors filed an appeal of the orders on England’s behalf July 10 to the 2nd District Court of Appeals. 116 West Main also has appealed that ruling.

After the judge denied the demolition request, the city closed West Main Street between Cherry and Plum streets to create a fall zone in front of the building. The area was adjusted a few days later when areas in front of some businesses on that block were opened for customer parking.

The sidewalk and parking immediately in front of the Tavern building have been blocked since a January 2020 tornado damaged the building.

The city on July 10 dismissed its request for an injunction against demolition of the building. The injunction had been sought in March when demolition was started without a certificate of appropriateness (COA) from the city. 116 West Main’s lawyers argued the COA was not needed, based on an order issued by England stating the building was a “serious risk.” That order was changed to “needs repairs” before being changed again in May to a “serious hazard.”

The June findings by England and Simmons that the condition of the building required removal nullified the need for a COA, the city said in a statement from Law Director Grant Kerber.

“… It was appropriate to notify the court of this fact and to dismiss the claim that the city was seeking an injunction to prevent the demolition of the building,” Kerber said.

Contact this contributing writer at [email protected]

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