Historic Tipp City building collapses

Tipp City: Collapsed historic building poses ‘imminent threat’

An order to building owner Blake Senseman of Vandalia states that before 5 p.m. Thursday, July 2, the city will require either a signed notice from a licensed structural engineer that the building does not constitute an imminent danger of further collapse and can be stabilized and remediated to a safe condition or the building must be razed to eliminate the threat of collapse.

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If a structural engineer signs a statement on the building’s safety, it must be accompanied by a timeline to immediately address the hazardous conditions and for restoration of the building to meet Miami County Building Code and Tipp City ordinances and zoning code.

The letter signed by John Green, city finance director serving as acting city manager, was delivered Tuesday afternoon, Green said.

If action is not taken, the city will have the hazard removed and assess the costs, according to the notice.

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The building at 216 E. Main St. came to the attention of the Tipp City Fire Department on Sunday afternoon when a passerby reported hearing what sounded like a collapse inside.

The letter to Senseman says the following was found in subsequent inspections: partial collapse of the northeast corner of the structure including the first floor into the lower level; partial roof collapse (as seen from a drone); and east wall support post broken and moved off the foundation; and cracking siding and opening the structure to the elements.

The partial collapse resulted in the closing of Main Street (Ohio 571) from the downtown area east to Ohio 202.

Rob England, Miami County chief building official, said Tuesday he was working with the city officials and the city’s contracted engineer on addressing the property.

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On Tuesday, workers were brought in by the owner to cut honeysuckle and other growth from around the building and to brace the building’s north side along the street, England said.

He said he spoke with Senseman and told him of the need for the structural engineer’s involvement, which was then outlined in the letter from the city.

Hopes are the street can be opened sometime Wednesday, Green said in a memo to the city council Tuesday. Details for opening the street with narrowed travel lane and concrete construction barriers in front of the Buggy Whip property were being discussed with the Ohio Department of Transportation, he said.

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