City sets deadline for cleanup of fire remains

 Vandalia officials have agreed to accept a structural engineer’s recommendations on a building damaged by the Feb. 23 fire that destroyed three other buildings. At the same time, they emphasized that they want to see the remains of that fire cleaned up in the near future.The city council on Monday reviewed a letter that Andy Fendrich of Fendrich Engineering of Springfield sent to Dennis Gerkin, whose State Farm agency building in the 300 block of West Gallatin Street sustained substantial damage in the fire.Fendrich issued the opinion that the south half of that building cannot be salvaged, and that the front half can be saved. He noted that should the front half be salvaged, repair work is needed on brick and mortar at the top of the front wall, which Gerkin said is in the same condition it was before the fire.The city asked that a structural engineer look at the building after Gerkin and Dennis Grubaugh, who is in the process of buying Gerkin’s building, contested city Code Official Keith Meadows’ determination – based on the International Construction Council Code – that the building was unsound.

For the rest of the story, see this week’s Leader-Union.

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