After two fires on Main Street in Clintonville in recent months, the Clintonville City Council learned that the process of rebuilding the lost businesses is not going as quickly as it can, due to one big issue.
“A couple building owners weren’t carrying any insurance on their structures,” informed City Administrator Chuck Kell. “There’s no funds available because they didn’t have insurance to now take the building down and get it conditioned to where the restaurant that’s in that building could be reopened.”
City Administrator Chuck Kell told the Council that the buildings in the shape that they are in are not good for aesthetics, or safety.
“It could fall over in high winds, or just on its own because it’s not supported by anything, so we have the neighboring business restaurant also closed down because of that danger,” Kell stated. “So we’ve go those burnouts basically sitting there with nothing happening.”
The other business that had to close for safety reasons was the Bluebird Café. Kell said the Finance Committee will take up discussion on the issue, but he said something has to be done either way, putting the city between a rock and hard place as right now it seems the options are having the city get involved, which comes with a cost, or leaving the buildings, which also has its own type of cost.
“You can’t run a business community and have burned out buildings on Main Street,” Kell said matter-of-factly. “It just isn’t attractive to business, it’s not attractive to people visiting. We’ve got these burnouts, the appearance of them, the condition of them, they’re boarded up, so we not only have the impact on the businesses that were operating in these buildings and the one next door, just the generally appearance for the whole business community is negative.”
Kell said this circumstance has brought up an issue that needs to be addressed in more way than one.
“I think we’re going to seriously consider some ordinance changes that may require a license to operate a business, or rent a building, and require insurance in place if you’re going to do that,” Kell said. “I think we’re going to need to discuss, not only how can we rectify this existing situation, but how do we prevent this from happening again.”
The fires took place on two different nights in about a months time period. The businesses lost were Main Street Tattoos in October and China King in November.