GREAT BEND, Kansas – One wall of the Great Bend Opera House collapsed months ago, now the city is going to take on the cost of tearing the building down.
“Just before the April 21st meeting, we have had no contact with them. They have failed to notify us of anything that they’re going to do or not do on that so they’ve just quit talking to us,” said Building Inspector Lee Schneider.
The city will have to be careful when it tears down the old opera house, because the edge of the opera house is connected to other buildings that are still occupied.
“So when we take this building down, they have to leave the party wall so that the adjacent buildings to the west still have their structural stability,” said Schneider.
The city is expecting to have bids to tear down the building by August 15th and says it will take 45 days and could cost one hundred thousand dollars.
The city will send a bill to the owners and they have thirty days to pay it. In the end, Great Bend could try and sell the property.
“If they don’t pay it the city gets no money back from it, I mean we’re just taking care of a problem and it’s just a cost to the city,” Schneider said.
The owner of the building behind the opera house told KSN that if the owners had taken care of the building, it might not have to be demolished.
“You know it, unfortunately it shouldn’t be their responsibility, but I guess sometimes people don’t take ownership of their building and then the cities gotta get involved,” said Dr. Jesse Grove.
The city says that they expect the demolition of the building to be finished sometime in October.