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Here’s chronology of Cameo Building ‘saga’

Whatever the fate of the Cameo Building, demolition or renovation, it’s been an interesting “ride” over the past 11 months.

Here are some of the key dates and actions right up to the latest city council decision Monday evening:

• Aug. 29-30, 2012. In two separate incidents, a 125-yearold brick firewall atop buildings in the south 100 block of East Cameron ( US 79), collapses, heavily damaging the Cameo building and Old Tyme Antiques. Other buildings fronting Cameron Avenue and Main Street are less seriously damages.

• Nov. 1, 2012. City officials say they’ve been talking to owners of some of the buildings damaged in the collapse, but it hasn’t been determined who is the actual owner of the Cameo building and that structure, and its fate, is linked to the fate of the other buildings.

• Jan. 17, 2013. Rockdale’s revised Building Standards Commission, set up in 2012 after a state court ruling forced municipalities to reassess the way structures were condemned and demolished, still cannot function because it is two members short of being a full commission. The city is actively recruiting members.

• March 4, 2013. Gloria Thrasher assumes full legal ownership of the Cameo building, ending months of legal uncertainty. Thrasher tells The Reporter she wants to restore the building and says a structural engineer has termed the project feasible.

• March 6, 2013. The now-fully staffed Building Standards Committee meets and, on a 3-0 vote with two abstentions, gives Thrasher 14 days to secure the building, then 60 to demolish it.

• Apr il 9, 2013. Thrasher appeals that decision to the city council, which votes unanimously to hear additional evidence from a structural engineer on the effects tearing down the Cameo building would have on adjacent structures.

• April 22, 2013. On a 4-1 vote, the city council sets aside the Building Standards Commission’s original “secure and demolish” order and sends the Cameo matter back before them for another hearing and vote.

• May 1, 2013. For a second time—this vote unanimous—the Building Standards Commission finds the Cameo building “substandard” and again gives owner Thrasher an order to secure, then demolish the building.

• June 10, 2013. In a meeting that has a little bit of everything, Thrasher again appeals the commission’s ruling before the city council. A motion to uphold the commission’s decision and order the building’s demolition, dies for lack of a second. The council is one member over the amount required for a quorum and when one of the members leaves the meeting, to go to work, the council is unable to take any further action.

• June 17, 2013. In a split vote—with new Mayor John King breaking as 2-2 tie—the council for the second time affirms the commission’s “secure and demolish” and orders Thrasher to secure the building within 14 days and demolish it within 30. That’s a first-reading approval of an ordinance which would then go into effect only after a second-reading approval at a subsequent council meeting.

• Ju ly 8, 2013 . That sec - ond-reading vote comes Monday but the motion for second-reading approval dies for lack of a second. A compromise proposal (see story above) passes 3-1 and that compromise must now get a second-reading approval to be enacted.

And that’s how it stands. For now. To be continued.


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2013-07-11 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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