Aldermen vote to demolish restaurant

Aldermen vote to demolish restaurant


RIDGELAND — A derelict building on Old Canton Road will be demolished by the city following a decision by aldermen on the grounds that it poses a risk to the safety of the community.

The city has notified the property owner they will proceed with demolition on or after Nov. 20, of this year, Public Works Director Alan Hart said. The property is known as The Crawfish Hut and is located at 6959 Old Canton Road.

Ward 6 Alderman Wesley Hamlin said the property is in his ward and has been “a nuisance for years.” Hart noted that vines are growing inside the building.

Hart said his office has advised the contractor, Faircloth Demolition, Inc. of Raymond, that they may proceed in December.

“The actual timing will come down to his availability,” Hart said. “I do not have an exact demolition day scheduled.”

The city received three bids for the demolition project. Faircloth was awarded the bid for submitting the low bid of $13,500. American Homes and Mannsdale Excavation LLC both submitted bids in excess of $15,500.

The scope of work includes the demolition of the existing structure and disposal of the demolished building leaving the concrete slab and foundation in place as well as other considerations.

Hart said in a memo to the board that they received partial renovation plans during the bidding process but the building would have to be brought up to code.

Hart said landscaping, parking, and drive aisle requirements were among the features that would hold back the proposed renovations from conforming to the city’s current codes. The memo notes “refuse disposal” as another concern.

“For a crawfish restaurant,” Hart writes. “This would be an important consideration.”

The owner, Jerry Bouldin, a contractor himself, told the Mayor and City Board of Aderman at last Tuesday’s regularly scheduled work session that he is currently waiting on a legal battle between other current stakeholders in the business to conclude so he will know who his partners in the venture are.

He said as a contractor he would like to make any renovations or undergo demolition himself. 

Mayor Gene F. McGee said he thought any renovation would be “like putting lipstick on a pig.”

Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Holder put forth an agenda item to give the owner four months to sort out his affairs and bring the building up to code. McGee said the building had already had two years to bring it up to code.

“It is a code enforcement nightmare,” Hamlin said.

Aldermen voted 4-2 to demolish with Holder and Ward 5 Alderman Bill lee voting against. Ward 1 Alderman Ken Ehard was absent.

After the demolition, Hart said his office would return to consider the cost to be placed  on the tax rolls.

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