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Connellsville Health Board lifts mandate to demolish city building

| Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 7:06 a.m.

Connellsville Health Board members agreed to lift their mandate to demolish a building in the city so the owner can make repairs.

A motion was passed on Monday night to temporarily rescind the order to demolish the structure at 122 S. Pittsburgh St. and to the grant owner, Charles Osler, 60 days to bring the exterior of the building up to code.

Health and code officer Tom Currey went to the board with the request after Osler told him he did not want to demolish the structure.

As a good-faith effort, Osler obtained a building permit from Fayette County and obtained a $10,000 bond.

Currey told board members that if the outside of the building is not brought up to code within 60 days, the city can use the bond money posted by Osler to demolish the structure.

Currey updated the board on other properties in the city.

Mary Skelton and another owner of the property at 328 N. Pittsburgh St. were trying to get the structure zoned residential, rather than its current commercial status, but the application was rejected by the zoning hearing board.

Currey said they were given 30 days to begin making progress toward bringing the structure up to code.

A windstorm last week caused a back portion of Rodney Allen's property at 223 N. Third St. to fall down. Caution tape has been put around the area, Currey said, and they are waiting to see what exactly is going to be done there.

Currey reported that Donald Fisch, owner of 349 N. Pittsburgh St., has made significant progress, including addiing new siding to the front part of the structure, from where the property was a year ago.

He hopes the progress will continue into the summer.

A structure at 132 E. Fairview Ave., owned by Jack and Brian Swank, which had been declared a public nuisance, will soon be demolished.

Currey said they got a demolition permit and are cleaning out the structure. He added that it should be done within a few days.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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