Three buildings that have stood in the Boonville square since the 1800's are now a public safety hazard after years of weathering. Today Mayor Pam Hendrickson showed us what the city plans to do once the buildings come down. However, a business owner across the street from the buildings says he doesn't feel what the city has planned is best for business around the square.
Come fall, the three buildings that stand at the corner of Second and Locust Street in Boonville will come down. Built nearly two centuries ago, and filled with many businesses over the years, the buildings are now filled with mold, broken windows, and missing bricks. Mayor Pam Hendrickson says, "we were able to obtain a grant for the demolition of these buildings, which is a positive point for Boonville because we at first thought we would have to use tax payer money, but the silver lining is that we are going to put in an environmentally sound pocket park in this area"
Not everyone is happy to see history disappear, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the safety of citizens. She continued by saying, "we don't want to have an issue with these people nor do we want to take away from the ambiance of the historic district, but we you find that it's necessary, you must go forth"
The mayor hopes people will enjoy sitting in the park while having a cup of coffee, but one business owner says a park isn't the best option. Wayne Pfettscher, who owns a coffee shop across the street, says "we've got plenty of green space around the courthouse, our judicial center there, the old courthouse. Give us parking. That's all I'm asking
A lot of traffic goes through the intersection where the park is planned to be built, and Wayne says he has concerns for the safety of people who would visit the park. He went on to say that, "even though it's 30-35 miles per hour, you get vehicles that are going a lot faster than that. While we were talking to Wayne, an 18-wheeler drove through a red light, which is at the same intersection the park will be built beside.
Wayne hopes the city will see his side, and do what he feels is best for everyone. He says, "another park is just something they're going to have to maintain and keep trash, keep mowed, pickup. A parking lot.. you're done"
The mayor says she will be meeting soon with engineers and planners to work on setting exact dates as to when the buildings will be torn down.