First step Wednesday on Cameo building

Commission calls for ‘evidence’ on damage

Seven months after a 19th Century wall collapsed and seriously damaged a downtown building, the first legal step toward resolving an eventual cleanup was to be taken Wednesday (March 6).

The City of Rockdale’s newly revived Building Standards Commission was to have met at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall to conduct a hearing and “gather evidence” on the status of the Cameo Insurance Building, 113 West Cameron (US 79).

It was the most seriously damaged of several structures when a 125-year-old brick firewall on the roof collapsed in separate surges Aug. 29 and 30, 2012.

The building essentially hasn’t been touched since the collapse as the city has sought to unravel a legal tangle over ownership of the structure.

EVIDENCE—But now, with the Building Standards Commission back at full strength after appointments were made two weeks ago, the procedural wheels are ready to be set in motion.

The commission is to hear “evidence” from the city concerning the city ordinance involved and the alleged violation of such ordinance and “requirements necessary to cure the violations,” according to City Manager Kelvin Knauf.

Also, Knauf said all persons with a legal interest in the property will then have an opportunity to present their evidence.

The commission’s job is to consider the evidence given by both parties—if persons with a legal interest do indeed present evidence or testimony—then at some point decide whether or not the structure represents a “dangerous property.”

If the commission finds that it is, it would then decide what actions must be taken by the owners, mortgagees or lien holders, he said.

Also on the agenda are similar items concerning structures at 1300 and 1304 East Cameron.

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