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WJBD - Local News - Salem City Council To Look At Cleaning Up Old Gas Station Property On East Main

The long closed Gas Point in the 300 block of East Main draws complaints from a neighbor who wants something done.

Old feed store building has tin roofing coming off.

The old feed store building grown up in brush with open door for anyone to enter.

Salem City Council To Look At Cleaning Up Old Gas Station Property On East Main

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Salem Mayor Pro-Tem David Black has asked city officials to bring a recommendation to the next city council on how far they can go to clean up the shuttered Gas Point property in the 300 block of East Main Street.  In addition to the gas station, the brush filled property also contains a former feed store that's roof is peeling off.  Neighboring property owner Randy Stanfield brought the issue before the city council Monday night.  "I'm scared to death.  Tonight (Monday) we might have heavy winds and tornadoes. The roof as you can see is already mangled.  We're talking about eight foot long pieces of corrugated tin is going to be coming at my house and Royce's (Councilman Royce Bringwald's) car," said Stanfield.  "It's a mess gentleman and something needs to be done."  Stanfield added nothing has been done in the six years since he first raised concern about the property.  

No one on the council disagreed about the need for action, but City Attorney Mike Jones says any removal of the building would require court action.  City Manager Bill Gruen noted since the property was in the tax increment financing district, additional funding would be available that would not exhaust the city's demolition fund for derelict homes.   Jones says the city could just place a lien against the property for the cost of the work and not take ownership.  Gruen is concerned about liability from contamination in the ground from the former gas station.  

Black suggested the council look at an interim solution to take care of the immediate concerns.  "If the council agrees to look at it from the standpoint of tearing it down as I suggested from the concrete up, then you don't have to get rid of all the concrete by digging it up and tearing it up.  You also can cut down all the trees and shrubbery around there and get it cleaned up," said Black..  

Newly elected city councilwoman Sue Morgan once again repeated her desire for an overall crackdown on those with substandard property.   The city currently has between 12 and 15 homes on a list that need demolition.  

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