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Court rules Iron River must pay costs for wall

IRON RIVER—A court ruling Feb. 5 in Iron County Trial Court regarding the former shared wall between the now-demolished Coast to Coast building and the Anderson building found that the costs of the wall’s preservation would not be split between the city and the owner of the adjacent building.
    The cost for wall preservation was approximately $29,000, but during an initial hearing the shared cost was dropped to $24,000 and finally dismissed, leaving the city responsible for the entire amount. It was ruled that the city did more than what was necessary to the wall.
    According to City Manager David Thayer, the city presented proof that engineers said everything the city did for that wall was necessary. He also said that legal documents stated any preservation costs to a shared wall would be split in half.
    During the regular monthly meeting of the City Commission on Feb. 17, Mayor Terry Tarsi addressed the issue.
    “I’m as disappointed as anyone could be disappointed in the results,” he said. “I mean, we thought we did the gentleman that owns the wall a favor and also protected us against a further lawsuit.”
    Tarsi went on to say that he believes if the city didn’t do what it did to the wall, anything that leaked or fell from the wall would put the city in jeopardy of a lawsuit.
    In addition to that court hearing, City Attorney Mark Tousignant informed the board that a pretrial conference was held via telephone among himself, the judge and the owner of a building at 803 Wilson Ave. regarding an ongoing blight issue.
    At last month’s meeting, Tousignant told the board that the owner said he had transferred the deed to another person and was no longer responsible. However, the other party involved denied that he had accepted the deed.
    This month, an affidavit was secured by the second party attesting to the transfer. Tousignant said the owner assured him that he is in the process of hiring someone to tear the property down.
    The council also heard a presentation by the West Iron District Library regarding the courtyard project.
    Library Director Barbara Bartel said the library has good indications that the project is moving forward. She explained that while the library has the funds for the courtyard project and part of the pipe lin-
ing in the sewer lines that go under the area, the city and Downtown Development Authority would need to help with the parking spaces behind the Corner Drug Store.
    “I’m hoping we can all work together and make something happen,” Bartel said.
    Moving utility poles and water catch basins for the project were also discussed and will be investigated.
    Tarsi also requested that the library board ask other municipalities in the West Iron County area for help with the project.

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