“We need to take it down ASAP,” Manning said.
Interim City Manager Mac Manning told the council Monday evening that he and Mayor Larry Larsen had entered the Butler house on the northwest corner of Sycamore and Second Sts. on Sept. 25 to view the structure from the inside. They found little they could feel encouraged by.
“It really needs to come down before it collapses,” he said. “There is virtually no support in there.”
The west and north walls of the building buckled following the heavy rains and wind of several summer storms. City employees roped off an area surrounding the building and attached caution strips.
The council budgeted funds to demolish the building in 2014, but has no money set aside to do the work this year. The city does not have the equipment needed to have employees do the demolition work.
After discussion, council members agreed to take bids on the demolition. An announcement will be published in the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin on Oct. 9, and bids will be due on Oct. 21 and opened at a special meeting on Oct. 23.
In other business:
- The council went into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel matters. Larsen, Manning, and Police Chief Bruce Burke remained in the session. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
- The council went into a second executive session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel matters. Larsen, Manning, Burke, and Public Works Director Darren Pickens remained in the session. Pickens left the meeting following the return to open session. No action was taken by the council on return to open session.
- The council went into a third executive session for five minutes to discuss personnel matters. Larsen, Manning, and Burke remained in the executive session. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
- In his report to the council, Pickens noted that Duane Davis donated some time to do extra mowing for the city to help the employees catch up after Bob Kyle returned to the school district in August. As a part-time employee, Davis is covered by the city’s insurance.
- Council members discussed a bid from W.J. Germaine for upgrades and repairs to the municipal swimming pool. At Pickens’ recommendation, the council agreed to a special meeting with swim team coach Tom Spencer and recreation commission president Beth Peter before approving the $28,886 expenditure.
- Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner was affirmed the department’s approval for assistant chief Kelly Cook to attend the Kansas Fire Chiefs Conference Oct. 24 to 27 in Hutchinson. The city agreed to pay one-half of the $150 fee.
- The council agreed to add rock to the alley between Sycamore and Maple Sts. where the sewer was replaced several weeks ago. Rain and flooding washed away the rock that was part of the reconstruction of the alleyway.
The next meeting of the Peabody City Council will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 in the city building.