The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

July 28, 2013

Readers' Forum 7-28 | Some building owners exempt?

JOHNSTOWN — The Conrad Building remains standing at Vine and Franklin streets with building materials, at times, falling into the Stonycreek River. This after being condemned in 2009.

In 2009, the building was sold, and City Council passed a resolution to apply for $500,000 in state funds to renovate the structure on behalf of the new owner.

That failed when the principals could not come up with required matching funds.

It has now been more than four years, and nothing has changed.

Correspondents with the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington and Pittsburgh regarding these conditions resulted in a response from the corps on June 26, which stated: It is their (building principal) hope to have funding secured and the project completed within a 12-16 month schedule.

In 2008, the former Johnstown Planning Mill collapsed onto Horner Street. The public, on numerous occasions, had been told that parties had been looking into reusing the site.

On Nov. 26, 2008, the Washington Street parking garage collapsed, after structural concerns closed the top three floors in August 2003 and no corrective actions were taken by the city.

How many residential homeowners would be given more than four years to correct code violations? Why is the Conrad Building any different?

It is not, except by the selective enforcement by the city. It should be interesting to hear city officials explain why, should a collapse occur.

Jack Williams

Johnstown

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