Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2001

City may demolish building

July 18, 2001

The city of Basehor could end up being responsible for the removal of a nearly century-old building that was destroyed by a fire in May.

The Cabinet Shop of Basehor, formerly located on 155th Street, caught fire May 25, and despite efforts from 11 area fire departments, the building was deemed a total loss.

During the Basehor City Council meeting Monday, July 16, City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper informed the council that if the city had to remove the remnants of the building, it would cost approximately $40,000.

Cabinet shop owner Ken Lindsley said he has been taking bids from contractors to find out how much the demolition of the building would cost.

"We want to do it as soon as we can afford it," Lindsley said. "We are taking bids and it is our intention to have something done within 60 days."

Hooper said he wanted the building torn down and the site cleaned up within 30 days.

City officials said there is a bank lien on the building that is a potential stumbling block for getting the funds from the insurance company to remove the building. The amount owed to the bank is more than what the insurance for the building would cover, Hooper said.

"We were underinsured for the contents of the building," Lindsley said. "Cabinet shop premiums are extensively high."

If the city handled the demolition of the building, a condemnation process would have to be started, Hooper said.

If the city wants to condemn the building, a public hearing must be scheduled, and the property owner and the lien holder must be notified. The City Council could then hear a petition from the property owner and come to an agreement as to when the property would be condemned.

Hooper said he thought the two sides would come to an agreement as to the next step of the building.

"I expect it to get worked out," Hooper said. "They want to resolve it and so do we."

Once the building is destroyed, it will bring an end to an area that the city of Basehor has long recognized as a place of business.

The building was built in the early 1900s and was first used as factory that produced Ford Model T cars. Since then the building has been used as a car dealership, hardware store and feed store.

City officials said new building and zoning codes would prevent construction of another building in the lot. Since the building was considered pre-existing before the codes were passed, the building did not fall under the zoning guidelines.

Following the fire, Lindsley moved the cabinet shop operation from 155th Street to the Highview Industrial Park, located on 150th Street.

Lindsley said the cabinet shop already had a staining and finishing department at Highview. Now, the shop at the industrial park is used for construction of the cabinets only, Lindsley said.

Lindsley did have plans to move the cabinet shop from Basehor to Tonganoxie, where he owns a piece of land. He said the move has been put on hold.

"We are still going to be there," Lindsley said. "It is still in our future plans."

A cause for the fire that destroyed the building has never been determined.

Fairmount Township Fire Department Chief Alan Goens said a state fire marshal investigated the remnants of the building and declared the cause of the fire as undecided.

Goens said the building had been through a fire inspection approximately 45 days before the fire and the building passed with only a few minor suggestions.

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