PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A councilman is calling for the demolition of a Connellsville building that has been called a safety hazard.
Along E. Crawford Avenue, a long dead radio station’s call letters hang from an abandoned building. WCVI nowadays could stand for “will collapse virtually instantaneously.”
The three-story brick building has quickly slid into disrepair, shedding its parts over the last few years.
“Just sitting here, you can look at some glass that’s recently fallen off. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know how safe I feel just standing here,” said Health and Public Safety Director Aaron Zolbrod.
Fayette County took over the building due to owed back taxes.
Three buyers put a bid on it, only to say no thanks. Connellsville officials say it’s the county’s building, so they need to finish what Mother Nature and gravity started.
“We’re in a situation now where this building has to come down immediately,” said Greg Ritch, of Connellsville City Council. “However, the county has responded verbally there’s not available funds to do so.”
So there it stands, at least for now.
“Our fire department’s been instructed, if there’s a fire here, not to enter to fight the fire,” said Zolbrod.
Joe Orszulak has a jeweler store right next door.
It’s an endangerment to our clientele,” he said. “When we have customers, we try to direct them to a safer place.”
Connellsville has put an orange cone up to warn people they’re in a bad place.
For now, the city says the building is bad, but the ball is in the county’s court. The tab to raze the old building is about $50,000 to $75,000.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti: “Where’s this all going to end up?”
Ritch: “Probably court.”