Nine-lives Cameo stays up for now

‘Amendment’ planned; fines to be paid

If the Cameo building— or what’s left of it—were a cat, it would have already used up about half its nine lives.

Life four—or is it five?— surfaced Monday after a combination workshop meeting by the Rockdale City Council.

The council voted to direct City Manager Kelvin Knauf and City Attorney Michelle Lehmkuhl to prepare an amendment to the existing demolition order on the “building” to give owner Gloria Thrasher and contractor William Beene a chance to present plans for stabilizing the structure.

Heavily damaged when a 125-year-old brick retaining wall fell Aug. 29-30, 2012, the building is now down to a 19th Century facade fronting US 79, a back wall and two side walls. It has no roof nor internal structure, except for its northeast corner.

LIVES—Three times the city’s Building Standards Commission has ordered it razed and three times the city council has given the owner a chance at restoration.

However, Thrasher said Monday saving the building was not necessarily a longterm goal.

“What I’m most concerned about is getting walls sealed, walls filled in and stuccoed on the inside,” she said. “The rest of it is neither here nor there at this point.”

“It’s not that I want to rebuild it, not that I want to keep going with it. I don’t know the answer to that,” she said. “I do want to at least get approval from the council to be able to present whatever it is that you need.”

FINES—Late last year, citing missed dead- in a city ordinance to begin demolition penalties of $100-per-day were assessed.

Those penalties had reached $4,900 by the February city council meeting.

Thrasher agreed to pay previous civil penalties as a show of good faith to the city.

As a result of Monday’s discussion, the second reading of the new civ- il penalty ordinance was postponed until the next monthly council meeting March 10.

In other business Monday, the council nominated Jim Hodson for the vacancy on the Milam Appraisal District board of trustees.

Hodson has already been nominated by the Rockdale ISD, which has enough votes to elect him.

The council postponed action on requests to allow oil drilling at Coffield Municipal Airport.

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