NORWICH – Last week, the City of Norwich took legal possession of a condemned property, more than a year after a large portion of a three story apartment building collapsed on May 29, 2019.
According to Norwich Mayor Shawn Sastri, “We're in the process of getting bids to tear it down. It has to come down before winter. The building won't survive another winter. It's a hazard.”
The building's walls and roof are seriously damaged and the city is awaiting bids and cost assessments before moving forward.
City Council President Mathew Caldwell said, “I do think it is a danger. Yes, I really do. I have to imagine the structural integrity is compromise from the damage and with the weather – rain or other things will continue to compromise the integrity. I'm no engineer, but generally once damage starts it doesn't fix itself. Likely it gets worse if you don't do something. I also worry about curious people who might explore and kids in the neighborhood, those are real concerns as time goes on.”
Caldwell said it would be up to the council to vote on any decision, but in his opinion the city should do something “before inclement weather sets in.”
He said the process of solving the issue had been slowed as officials considered restoration as a possible option, the cost of demolition, and the legal status of the property.
“We don't know the the total cost yet, but I don't image we'll have many appealing alternatives. Hopefully we'll be able to deal with by the end of the year,” said Caldwell.