Neosho City Council members discussed safety concerns at a Neosho landmark in their Tuesday evening council meeting.

Neosho City Council members discussed safety concerns at a Neosho landmark in their Tuesday evening council meeting.

Richard Davidson, Neosho mayor, said he had received a complaint recently about brick falling from the McGinty building onto the nearby sidewalk.

Davidson said the complaint is not the first.

"It's an ongoing issue," Davidson said.

The McGinty building is located on the southwest corner of the Neosho Square.

John Harringon, the city's code enforcement officer, said he contacted the building owner after the roof caved in.

"At that point, they had sent over a crew and cleaned up the mess in there," Harrington said. "I went back about a week or so after they had cleaned up the mess where the back part of that building had caved in at and told them that we need to do something as far as getting a roof put on."

Harrington said the absence of the roof on the building could lead to numerous other problems.

"At that point, they said they've gotten in contact with a roofing company and there should be something done in the next few weeks, that's what I was told by their office," Harrington said.

Harrington said local businessman Larry Neff owns the building.

The building housed McGinty's Department Store for several years, and now sits vacant.

Davidson said he had heard complaints that the building is in disrepair and was asked if the city had enforcement power to address the issue.

"With all the efforts that have been made and money that has been spent to keep our square nice, having that building on the corner there deteriorating is not pleasant," Davidson said.

"Without that roof, doesn't that compromise the integrity of the walls?" asked city manager Troy Royer.

Harrington said he would have to look to determine that, though the roof could be what is holding the walls together. He said he would look into it.

Charles Collinsworth, city councilman, said the building has needed repairs for too long.

"You're talking leaks and then that could become a fire hazard and then that's not being very neighborly," Collinsworth said. "I don't know what kind of shape the building is in but I wouldn't feel good about walking up from Charley's Grill right beside it."

Steve Hays, Neosho city attorney, said if it is determined that the building is dangerous, the city would have the right to take immediate action, which could go as far as asking the owner to remove the building, or the city doing so.
"There's a lot of history with that store, it's a great Neosho landmark and I think it deserves better," Collinsworth said. "I wish it wouldn't have fallen into this state of disrepair."

Davidson said in light of the recent complaints received about the building, the next step is to verify if there are any new safety issues with the structure.

Council members also voted Tuesday evening on final reading to approve changes to the golf course budget to allow the Neosho Municipal Golf Course to be moved from a contractor to city-run operation.

Current golf-course manager Justin Beck gave his notice in mid-November and plans to leave the course at the end of February.

The newly adopted golf course budget reflects a total decrease of $29,700.18. The amended budget includes a decrease of $128,333.34 for the remainder of Beck's $220,000 annual contract, as well as the addition of $54,400 for salaries for three full-time golf course employees, $75,000 for 10 part-time employees, $400 for cell phone allowance, $9,899.10 for social security, $5,004.80 for retirement, $9,150 for health insurance, $4,179.62 for workers compensation, and a $4,495 transfer from the general fund.

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To read more about Tuesday evening's council meeting, see Thursday's edition of the Neosho Daily News.