Sanders recommends commission address safety issues, events ceased and tenants moved out of Hayneville Plaza

Published 10:18 pm Monday, August 25, 2014

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Due to legal information and safety concerns, the Lowndes County Commission took action Monday night to prevent events from being held at the county-owned Hayneville Plaza, to move tenants out as soon as “reasonably possible” and to look at addressing safety issues,.
“We just have some reports that the building is not safe,” said Lowndes County Attorney Hank Sanders, who recommended the action by the commission. ”We don’t want to take a chance on anyone getting hurt.”
After more than an hour in executive session on Aug. 25, Sanders told the commission, “Based upon the legal information that we have, I recommend that we cease to have any events in Hayneville Plaza and that we move to get the tenants out as quick as reasonably possible.”
He also recommended that the commission take a look at “having the safety issues that were raised addressed.”
Sanders said his recommendation also includes events that are already set to be held at the Plaza.
Following the Monday,Aug. 11 commission meeting, McAlpine said, “We have issues with the Plaza. Meadowbrook, our insurance company at present that insures the Plaza, has sent us a notice of cancellation of the Plaza because there are some fire hazards and things that are not up to standard.”
He said at that meeting the commission was seeking to get a licensed commercial contractor to give an estimate of “necessary repairs with the intent to try to get Meadowbrook to continue (insuring the building) in the future provided we can afford to get the repairs done.”
McAlpine said the second floor should have a sprinkler system and the third floor, which he said is not finished, should have sheetrock and firewalls.
He also said on Aug. 11, “We should have gotten a bonded contractor or engineer or architect to look at the building when the building was purchased, but that wasn’t done. But that’s behind us, so we’ve got to move forward.”
Commission Chairman Robert Harris said on Aug. 11 that insurance company should have taken examination of building before they decided to insure it.
Monday night’s recommendations by Sanders were unanimously approved.

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