The Pryor Times

Local News

December 13, 2010

Pryor apartment owner wants to repair building

PRYOR — The City of Pryor held a public hearing Tuesday concerning a burned apartment building on the south side of town.

The city has declared the building a public nuisance and requested that the owner tear it down. The apartment was severely damaged by fire in January.

Denny Bissell represented his mother, Janice Bissell, owner of the apartments. Bissell said his mother recently had surgery and was unable to attend.

Janice Bissell’s wish is to repair the structure. The city fire chief and community development officer have declared the building structurally unsound due to the fire damage. In last month’s meeting, the city allowed Janice Bissell a month to get a second opinion from a structural engineer.

Denny Bissell presented a report from an engineer to the city council Tuesday. Denny Bissell said, “He sees no problem repairing the structure.”

After looking over the paper, City Attorney Randy Elliott confirmed the report contained instructions for rebuilding the structure.

“The first step is tearing out what’s been damaged and getting the repair job done,” Denny Bissell said.

Mayor Jimmy Tramel asked for a comment from the fire chief. Chief Tim Thompson said he had told Janice Bissell to send a structural engineer’s report to Building Inspector Walter Stout.

“This is the first I’ve known of an engineer’s report,” said Thompson.

Thompson requested the report from Bissell’s engineer be given to the building inspector for review. The matter will be taken up in the

next council meeting. Councilman Drew Stott indicated Stout needs to be present when the issue of the structure is addressed.

Pryor resident Mike Rains brought a complaint to council about the current public nuisance ordinance.

Rains said “the city has enforced ordinances on what I can and cannot do on my own property.” Rains said it seems “the only thing you can have on your patio is outdoor furniture” and added he has signatures from his neighbors on a statement that he is not a health hazard or endangering the community.

Rains said the judge informed him that if he didn’t like the city statutes he could move out of Pryor. Rains said he is going to leave Pryor as soon as possible.

“They sure enough invited me out of you all’s fair city,” he said.

A reward fund has been established to help capture and prosecute the persons responsible for cemetery vandalism. Tramel said Rick Stephens of Stephens Memorial Chapel started the reward collection. Eighty-two headstones were knocked over and damaged at Fairview Cemetery last weekend, including some graves in Babyland. Tramel thanked the numerous volunteers who came to help repair the graves.

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