CORUNNA — Corunna officials plan to discuss what to do about a building damaged during a 2018 fire at a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. June 17.
According to city officials, the former Cleveland Bail Bonding building, which was next door to the Cavalier Bar, is dangerous and requires substantial repairs.
The building, 123 N. Shiawassee St., suffered significant damage in July 2018 when the neighboring Cavalier Bar caught fire and subsequently burned and collapsed. Multiple portions of the remaining structure, including an exposed interior wall and a collapsed roof, constitute code violations, according to City Assessor Merilee Lawson.
In the months after the blaze, city officials contacted the building’s owner, Eric Cleveland, requesting that he make the necessary changes to bring the structure up to code. After a meeting with hearing officer Tom Ardelean, Cleveland was given a deadline to makem repairs. Since then, nothing has been done, prompting the city council’s public hearing.
“You know enough months had gone by where we felt we have to get something done on this,” Lawson said. “In order to go about the process legally, you call it a dangerous structure hearing, but it’s not that it had anything that was really that dangerous to the public, it was just the fact that under state codes you can’t have an interior wall on the exterior, and he didn’t meet the deadline of that first hearing.”
Cleveland Bail Bonding originally was two adjoining side-by-side buildings on Shiawassee Street. In July 2018, the smaller of the two structures suffered significant damage during the Cavalier Bar fire, according to Lawson.
“The Cavalier bar burnt and during that fire, to keep the rest of the block from burning down, the excavators came in and pulled all the debris that was still on fire and burning away from the larger building…when you pull that away you now have an interior wall that’s exposed on that side,” Lawson said.
The rear portion of the small structure still stands, although the roof has caved in. Lawson said she believes the structure can be saved, but Cleveland has to do something with the roof.
“Eric has been good. I talked with him at the last council meeting when we set the public hearing. He’s thinking that he can still do what he needs to do before the next hearing. If not, the council will decide,” Lawson said.
The council can grant Cleveland an extension for the repairs, or it can move forward with contractors to do so, leaving Cleveland to cover the cost, Lawson said.
Ardelean recommended Cleveland clad the wall of the larger building with a suitable skin as well as fix the collapsed roof, or demolish the remainder of the small building entirely, according to Lawson.
“We’ve got to get that buttoned up, and Eric knows, he knows he needs to do it, he just hasn’t done it,” Lawson said. “All we’re trying to do is bring everything up to code.”