Bowen house to be repaired or demolished in 30 days

by Celia Shortt

By Celia Shortt

Newnan City Council approved a resolution to repair or demolish the Sally Bowen house at 125 LaGrange St. within 30 days at its meeting on Tuesday.

In September, the roof of the house split along its crest. Laura Rivers has owned the house for 15 years. According to Shane Pridgen, an inspector for Newnan, Rivers was “unaware of the situation” when he first notified her. He said she was working with her insurance company to determine a solution.

At a November council meeting, Rivers was granted a 90-day extension, with some additional stipulations, to repair the house. The council wanted her to give two-week updates to ensure communication between all the parties.

She reported at the meeting that the house had been inspected, and the only damage seemed to be the roof. The rest of the house – walls and foundation – was still structurally sound. She also said the house had been looted and broken into, but she was still working to restore it.

In December, Newnan City Attorney Brad Sears told the council it appeared that foreclosure proceedings on that property had begun.

Since November, no work on the house has been done.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, he reported he had heard from Rivers but was not given permission to assess the damage inside the house. He was able to assess the damage on the outside of the house, and it was estimated to cost more than 50 percent of what the house is worth. The council then approved a 30-day resolution to repair or demolish rather than a 45-day resolution.

“Why 30 days instead of 45?” asked Newnan Councilmember Dustin Koritko.

Pridgen replied the situation with the property had dragged on long enough.

Newnan City Mayor Keith Brady also said there were concerns from the property next to 125 LaGrange Street that the home was in such poor shape, one day it could just collapse and land on the neighbor’s property.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the city council took actions related to the Newnan Hospital Redevelopment Project, which is under way to transform the old hospital property into a Newnan center campus for the University of West Georgia.

The council approved awarding $76,100 to Heery International Inc. for commissioning services, which are required by the state. The commissioning services include testing all systems for the project, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire alarm systems, security, and communications.

The original estimate for this part of the Newnan Hospital Redevelopment Project was around $35,000, according to Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips.

“We missed that estimate when the original program was put together by the University of West Georgia,” he said. “It was $35,000 for the commissioning services … we have doubled that, but we’re going to take it out of our own contingency funds.”

The city did bid competitively for this service, and Heery International Inc. came in with the low bid.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, council:

• Approved a contract of $318,224.50 to Construction57 for sidewalk improvements in 2014. These improved sidewalks will be on the north side of East Washington Street, from the railroad to Farmer Street; and the addition of new sidewalk on the south side of Roscoe Road, from Christian Drive to Sherwood Drive, the north side of Saint Clair Street, from Spring Street to Wesley Street, and the south side of First Avenue, from LaGrange Street to Buchannan Street.

• Changed the time of the June 19 meeting to 9 a.m. from 6:30 p.m.

• Approved the first amendment to the hospital redevelopment and purchase agreement regarding specific modifications.

• Scheduled public hearings on July 22 for 9 Maple Drive and 94 Belk Road.

• Heard status reports on 7 Upper Mann Street, 48 Fair Street, 7 Landers Street, and 20 Dixon Street. Council also passed a 30-day resolution to repair or demolish the 7 Landers Street property.

• Heard the presentation on the Transit Needs and Feasibility Study associated with the Coweta County Joint Comprehensive Transportation Plan. They also approved a motion to participate in the committee to help flesh out the plan.

• Heard an update on the Livable Centers Initiative Study Update. The final report should be given to the city council in a month or less. Sometime after, it will be presented at a city council meeting.

• Was made aware that a zoning request is before the planning commission for consideration. This request is for rezoning almost an acre from suburban single-family residential dwelling district to medium density.

• Approved the Boys & Girls’ Club request to block a portion of Wesley Street on May 20 for a few hours in the afternoon and into the evening for an event. This request was an off-agenda item.

• Approved The Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park and Paddle Georgia with the support of Main Street Newnan’s request to hold “Riverfest” on June 25. This event will include: Closing South Court Square 1 p.m. – midnight on June 25, erecting 30’ x 60’ x 3’ portable pool for demonstrations and events, a DJ announcement space on the sidewalks along South Court Square, signage and presentation areas on interior sections of Courthouse Square, access to electrical power for event purposes, and blocking five parking spaces along exterior portion of North Court Square for bus drop-off, beginning at 4:30 pm.

• Approved the Brown’s Mill/Sesquicentennial/Hospital Town Reenactment Event of Church History Booths on the Square to showcase histories of early churches of 1826–1880 on July 19. Setup begins at 9 a.m. and cleanup will be finished by 3 p.m.

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