Police tape surrounds the site of the former Kent Tavern in Wallaceburg, as municipal officials look into complaints of falling bricks from the Wallace Street building.
Paul Lacina, Chatham-Kent’s chief building official, told the Sydenham Current that police officers and firefighters were dispatched to the building on Monday morning (April 18.)
“They received a complaint about the facade, the bricks falling off,” Lacina said.
“The bricks are falling off the back of the building, which is located between the river and the building itself. We’re finding out who the property owner is to advise them of the situation and that they’ll have to repair it.”
Lacina added: “If they don’t repair it, then we’ll order the building unsafe. Subsequently, if no action is taken, we’ll get it torn down.”
Lacina said the Municipality is hopeful to contact the property owner on Tuesday.
“It is a danger, however it is not in the front of the building where we would have to barricade it off for passerbys or close the street similar to the issue we had a number of years ago, where the building down the street, which is now demolished, fell into the road,” he said.
“In my opinion, it’s not life or death, it’s not an occupied building. However, we hope to be able to contact the owner sometime tomorrow… find out what their plan is for the building and go from there.”
Lacina said the former Wallaceburg strip club is a familiar stop for Chatham-Kent building officials.
“I’m not sure if the current owner is the same owner we have dealt with in the past,” he said.
“We have been there a number of times with respect to building disrepair. At those times, that owner would be compliant with our orders and do the repairs as required.”
He said if contact is not made with the owner, the Municipality would step in and look into taking further action.
“We may do some fencing or barricading in that area of the building,” Lacina said.
“People shouldn’t be walking in the back of the property, but if they do, we’d barricade that off so no one can get through there. The worst case scenario is the owner doesn’t contact us and then we would have to assess whether we tear the whole building down, or just repair the back facade so that it is no longer a danger.”
We’ll provide more information about this story as it becomes available.