Main Street structure declared unsafe

The Moorcroft Senior Center will be moving from the town-owned building on North Big Horn Avenue in the near future to a privately owned facility on South Big Horn. With the organization’s departure, the three connected business fronts immediately north of Town Hall will be vacant – and inspection of the foundation has found the entire structure to be compromised.

“The foundation is crumbling; everything between Town Hall and the post office really needs to be torn down,” said Councilman Owen Mathews. “We really should consider if we should do some kind of condemnation of that because if you walk between these buildings, the natural gas line comes up about a foot from the building and the building’s touching it about a foot and a half up.”

The gas line and bulging foundation between Town Hall and the building immediately north. – Grace Moore photo

Speaking of any future use of the current senior center, he said, “If somebody uses it, it’s a liability to us because we own the building.” Talking about the office space immediately next to Town Hall, he added, “I’ve been in the building…[and] there are three places you can see the sky.”

Citizen John Alloisio, who was invited by Mayor Steve Sproul to take part in the budget discussion, voiced his thoughts.

“I would agree with all of that…Everybody knows that the foundation is so compromised,” he said. He advised full disclosure if the town decides, instead, to sell the property.

Official condemnation of the property, though within the town’s purview, will set the cost of demolition squarely on the municipality. Councilman Ben Glenn expounded on the advice of the fire marshal regarding the situation.

“He said that the state of Wyoming is very reluctant to consider one as unsafe because then somebody has to foot the bill for it,” he said.

Mathews suggested opening communications with the bank as a first step in dealing with this issue. Glenn proposed selling the lot at a reduced price if the buyer will commit to demolishing the existing structure.

– Grace Moore