Press-Republican

Business

January 20, 2014

Clock ticking to remove Mooers building rubble

MOOERS — Eloi Duguay has less than a month to clear away the remains of the former funeral parlor/apartment building here that collapsed on Jan. 11.

If he doesn’t, Town of Mooers Code Enforcement Officer Jess Dixon said, the municipality will get the job done and add the cost to the St. Hubert, Quebec, man’s property taxes.

And once the bill comes from Luck Brothers for knocking down the structure — an emergency measure ordered by Town Supervisor Jeff Menard that night — Duguay will be assessed that cost, too.

When one wall and more than half of the roof gave way, spilling onto the shoulder of Route 11, the remaining structure looked far from stable, the supervisor said.

“It was just kind of teetering there.”

CONDEMNED MID-SALE

Duguay bought the three-story brick building, which had housed E.F. Drown Funeral Home and four apartments, on Aug. 10, 2012, for $11,500, knowing his investment had serious issues, Dixon said. 

“I condemned it mid-sale.”

The structure, erected in 1950, had been vacant for a couple of years; the funeral business moved out six or seven years ago, Menard said.

The Clinton County Real Property website lists its condition as “poor.”

Duguay had paid the taxes on the place in 2013, the Treasurer’s Office said; no information was yet available on the 2014 amounts.

‘MADE SOME REPAIRS’

Dixon said Duguay never told him what he planned for the structure, only that he was looking for investors.

And, the code enforcement officer said, “he kept asking for a certificate of occupancy.”

That wasn’t going to happen, Dixon said, unless the building proved safe, with numerous issues remediated.

Once Duguay owned the property, Dixon required him to provide an engineer’s report listing the repairs needed to stabilize the building.

“It was a cursory list,” the code officer said, but it was a start. 

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