Golden Cavvy Building in crosshairs of Craig City Council | CraigDailyPress.com

Golden Cavvy Building in crosshairs of Craig City Council

CRAIG — The Downtown Business Association voiced its frustration to the Craig City Council on Tuesday about the abandoned Golden Cavvy building, located at 538 Yampa Ave., being a continued eyesore in the downtown area.

Both the Downtown Business Association and the city of Craig have worked hard through the years to keep downtown looking beautiful, Business Association member Karen Brown said, and both have made investments to keep the area appealing and attractive to customers who visit and shop in downtown Craig.

The Golden Cavvy Building, on the other hand, is an eyesore.

The building is covered in graffiti and has fallen into disrepair, and maintenance hasn’t been performed since it was closed in 2013, Brown said, adding that the association has received little to no communications from the building’s owner, Harley Guess.

“We would like the city council to take action to possibly condemn the building,” Brown said, “or require the owner to do necessary maintenance to improve the property.”

City Building Official Marlin Eckhoff said he has given Guess ample time to address the problems. He performed an inspection March 27 and determined the interior of the building was not suitable for occupation. Eckhoff’s main concern dealt with the building’s exterior, and he said he sent a letter with his assessment in April, giving Guess 60 days to correct the problems.

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The problems Eckhoff found include the following.

• Damage to the roof, with cracks and holes large enough to allow water to enter the building. This could compromise the structure’s integrity and grow mold.

• The sign in front of the building appears to be sagging and needs to be removed to prevent danger to people walking on the sidewalk. City ordinance also requires signs to be removed within 30 days of a business closing.

• Handrails on the back staircase leading to the roof and apartments needs to be closed off to prevent unauthorized access. The Craig Police Department has dealt with complaints of people getting on the roof to gain access to adjacent roofs of other buildings.

Eckhoff confirmed Guess received the letter. He said he sent a second letter earlier this month, giving Guess an additional 30 days to correct the issues. If it isn’t done within that time limit, the city will have to take action.

If the building is condemned, it needs to be closed off properly. That means the city will need to prevent any kind of entry to the building, Eckhoff said. The city will have to close off access to the back staircase and remove the sagging sign in the front. Then, the city will have to decide about further action — such as a demolition order — a development Eckhoff said he doesn’t want to see.

“I had hoped this would have lit a fire under him,” Eckhoff said, “… motivate him to either lower the price, to do repairs or have somebody else to take over and make it an asset for downtown.”

City Council members asked Eckhoff if repairing the building is possible. Eckhoff said it is, but cautioned the city would be paying a “premium price” for repairs.

Mayor John Ponikvar said the council will, at some point, have to decide if it needs to be more aggressive in these situations in the future.

Interim City Manager Bruce Nelson noted the Golden Cavvy Building might be eligible to apply for a Brownfield grant for redevelopment from the Environmental Protection Agency. While, in the past, only buildings contaminated by mining or petroleum spillage qualified for such a grant, contamination by asbestos and lead paint now also qualify. If the building is suspected of having either of those, it would qualify, Nelson said.

Contact David Tan at dtan@CraigDailyPress.com or 970-875-1795.