July 13, 2024

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Owner of Gilbert Building meets deadline to install fence

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During last week’s council meeting, the city gave Tom Flanagan five business days to install a fence to secure the site. It was put in place Wednesday afternoon.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The owner of the Gilbert Building has met his deadline to install a fence around the burned structure today.

During last week’s council meeting, the city gave Tom Flanagan five business days to install a fence to secure the site.

The owner had until today to put up a six-foot fence. It was also required to have razor wire at the top of the fence. The fence was put in place Wednesday afternoon, however it does not have razor wire at the top. 

“The three-strands of barb wire is all they could get this quick for now, so the city verified it and approved it in place of the razor wire,” said the city.

City Council also agreed to give Flanagan 60 days to come up with a plan to either save the structure or demolish it. Flanagan has told 12News that he will be ready to deliver the proposal on deadline.

The historic downtown structure went up in flames on June 6, since then the building has been tagged as an imminent danger.

Gilbert Building owner Tom Flanagan addressed the council, pleading with them to reconsider their vote that would give him a five day deadline to tear the building down.

“We’re asking for a 30-day period and we will have on the mayor and the manager’s desk, our plan for demolition or our plan to renovate the building,” Flanagan said during the meeting.

“We’re happy with the results, that the city decided to work with us to give us time to put a plan together,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan spoke during the meeting and asked for the 60 day to arrive at the decision to demolish or renovate building, saying he will finance the process himself.

Councilman Taylor Neild supported offering Flanagan an extended deadline. 

“Where I struggle is only allowing the property owner five days to make a decision to move forward on this. We need the owner to do a feasibility report to see if it’s salvageable and you can’t do that in five days,” Neild said.

Previously the city gave Flanagan only five days to decide what to do with the building.

If the city moves forward with demolition, it could cost tax payers $1 million. Councilman Mike Getz previously told 12News the city hired an engineering company to evaluate the Gilbert Building.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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