Battle Over Creal Springs Buildings

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By Evie Allen

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- City officials plan to tear down two historic buildings they deem dangerous. Owner Jerry Moore is against that and wants to restore them.   

It's been nearly 18 months since Jerry Moore announced plans to restore two of the towns' historical buildings. He had just purchased a 100-year-old former bank and a 90-plus-year-old former store. The buildings were in bad shape with one of the roofs collapsing.

Moore says he's worked to improve them since then.

"The front of the building is fine. The sides are fine, the walls are still standing. There's really not a problem," explains Moore.

He wants to restore the buildings, creating a place for youth. 

A year ago Mayor Joyce Rich said the city was willing to work with him.

"We just want it restored to a safe condition. If it can be preserved for history, we would appreciate that. We feel that would be an asset for our town," she said in an interview on February 21, 2013.

However, Mayor Rich says little has changed since she last spoke to News 3. Officials believe the buildings are too dangerous, with falling debris and the possibility of collapsing. That's why they sought and were granted an order to demolish both buildings.

"They're taking the history from the community and that's the big thing. If it was just a regular warehouse type thing, that would be a completely different argument," he says.

He says he took down the loose debris and hired a contractor for help.   

"I did find qualified people to do the work, to help restore it and bring it to a safer standard," he adds.

The mayor sent WSIL a statement saying, "No actions taken by Mr. Moore resulted in a satisfactory resolution of the issue. The City has documentation of the increased rate of deterioraton of the buildings....[nor has he shown] interest in any of the court proceedings or in the scheduled court dates and failed to attend any of the court dates until the July 24th date that he requested." 

"I was out of town and indisposed and had some health issues that I was not able to correspond, nor did I know all the procedures. I didn't have an attorney so they moved for court proceedings," says Moore.

He says he's now at the city's mercy and continues to hope for what looks like an impossible outcome.

"I'm always open to the idea that reasonable people can come to the table can come to some kind of agreement."

The mayor also wrote, "the value of the buildings in no way compares to the value of the well-being of all persons who must work near the buildings or patronize a business in the vicinity of the buildings."

The city says the date for demolition has already been scheduled. Moore plans to file an appeal on the decision Monday.

 
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