Weather Alerts 5 View »

Plattsmouth Business Owner Says Future Of Building Is Out Of His Hands

Plattsmouth Business Owner Says Future Of Building Is Out Of His Hands

By Rebekah Rae. CREATED Apr 13, 2014

Plattsmouth, NE - Parts of downtown are still caged off after a fire destroyed three historic properties in Plattsmouth.

Nearly every resident is tired of the scene in downtown.  "It should come down it's too dangerous, its not safe at all," said worried resident Carolynn Nowak.
Perhaps no one is more fed up than the buildings owner, Lee Larson.  "We've been very sad over this but you got to do the right thing and get this thing down." 
Larson wants to demolish his property.  He says he's hitting a wall that's a bit stronger than the one bowed and attached to his building.  
"I went before the preservation board in March and was denied the ability to tear down the building."  He said he's applied for a permit to demolish but was denied because the building is historic.
"They don't want to tear it down simply because they believe there is a possibility that it can be saved."
One preservation board member told KMTV, at the March meeting, they didn't have enough information to make a decision.
Larson disagrees, "the building is not structurally sound, all the structural engineers say that the building needs to come down."
KMTV obtained a copy of the insurance engineers investigation report.  It notes the building is unstable, unsupported and financially, reconstruction costs exceed the buildings value; stating there is cracking at the west wall and the wall is leaning.
''I'm concerned with the value of life, I put the value of life a lot higher than the value of a historic building."  Larson is concerned the west wall is going to collapse onto the adjacent building which is partially occupied.  "If it falls it's going to take that entire building down," said Larson. 
He hopes the board gives way before the building.  The preservation board meets again on April 21.  They're expected to make a decision on the future of the building.