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Inspections Not Good News For Lane Building

Sheldon, Iowa — A downtown Sheldon landmark that has stood at the corner of 9th Street and 4th Avenue for more than a century was inspected Friday by the State Building Inspector’s Office, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

In February of this year Sheldon city officials had received complaints about the H.C. Lane Building from current and former tenants. At that time Sheldon City Manager Sam Kooiker reported that interactions with the building’s absentee owner, Danny Lane, and local representative Rod Fonkert have been positive.

According to Kooiker, on Friday State Building Codes Inspector Eric Neddermeyer, along with State Fire Marshal Phil Hesnard inspected the building. Kooiker says the pair were joined by Public Works Director Todd Uhl, Sheldon Development Director Curt Strouth, Assistant Fire Chief Brad Hindt, O’Brien County Environmental Health Specialist Jonathon Hintz, Kooiker, and Property Manager Rod Fonkert. Kooiker says it was determined that there is no immediate life or safety risk involving the portion of the building that houses Sweet Puddle Jumpers. However, Kooiker reports there are multiple safety hazards with the eastern two sections of the building.

Kooiker says the State’s reports are in progress and will be available soon. He says the main issue at this point is the structural integrity of the eastern portions of the structure, the corner building which formerly housed JDL Kreations. State Building Inspector Eric Neddermeyer reportedly informed the group that the alley behind the eastern portion of the building should be closed. Kooiker says Neddermeyer believes that the rear wall is in danger of collapse. Kooiker says the next step is to retain the services of a structural engineer to look at the building.

At this coming Wednesday’s Sheldon City Council Meeting Kooiker says he plans to seek the council’s approval for the closing of the eastern part of the alley behind the building, and approval to commence the dangerous building process based on the State’s reports and Sheldon City Code. He says the next steps would include notices to the property owner and posting notices on the building. Kooiker says the City’s goal is to require the owner to take the steps necessary to stabilize and repair the building.

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