09/19/07 — Owners waiting for decision on what to do with Days Inn

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Owners waiting for decision on what to do with Days Inn

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on September 19, 2007 1:48 PM

More than a month after a tornado-like wind storm left the Days Inn in shambles, city officials are no closer to knowing what is going to be done with the now-condemned structure.

The hotel's roof is still half-gone, with insulation scattered everywhere. Rooms are destroyed, with the site looking much the same as it did Aug. 10 -- the day the storm hit.

City officials said the owners of the building have not yet decided what they are going to do with the site.

"The insurance companies are having engineers and people come in to analyze the structural stability of the building to decide whether to rebuild or demolish," Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said of the hotel owners' plans. "We are requesting that it be demolished, but that doesn't mean they can't rebuild it. They are doing a cost analysis to see what is the more feasible way to go."

The insurance process and analysis could take a while longer, he added. After that, the city will have to decide how to monitor the cleanup.

"It could still be a month to a month and a half, and after that, the city will see what we are going to do," he said. "I'm trying to work with the owners. We are trying to work with the insurance company, but some of these companies can take a long time."

Cianfarra said that people have been asking him when the building will be torn down.

He added that neither he nor the city gave the owner a time period in which he had to rebuild or demolish or face penalties.

City Manager Joe Huffman said he doesn't believe the property owner is the problem.

"From my understanding, the owner has been trying to move these things along," he said. "I think it's reasonable to try to work with the owner when it's something that wasn't his fault."

Huffman said he hopes the matter will be resolved soon.

"I don't want to have an eyesore there for a long period of time," he said.

On Aug. 13, the city posted condemned signs on the property and ruled the structure a "total loss."

Cianfarra said that he recommended demolition from the beginning since repairs to the building were not feasible.

"I'm estimating approximately $1 million worth of repairs, and the way I've calculated it, the cost of repairs exceeds 50 percent of its value," he said in August.

City officials said then that the official condemnation and demolition orders would be discussed at the City Council meeting Aug. 20.

Nothing about the Days Inn was on the agenda for the meeting nor did anyone bring up the topic at the work session.

Almost a month later, the City Council has still not discussed what they expect of the property owners.

The following meeting on Sept. 4 proceeded the same way, without any comment on the subject, and Monday night's meeting was no different. Cianfarra said that once the insurance company contacts the owner, he is hoping the owner calls him. At that point, he will bring whatever decision the owner has made to the council for discussion.

H. Mark Daley, III, president of Daley Investments Inc. which owns the Days Inn, was called several times but could not be reached by presstime.