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Building owners might be fined, Waynesboro council says

November 16, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Owners of the East Main Street building where a wall collapsed Sunday may face fines for nonpermitted excavation.

The Waynesboro Borough Council Wednesday evening heard building code official Mike Cermak Sr. say the owners of the building did not have a permit for the excavation work, which caused the wall to collapse.

Code enforcement officer Dan Sheffler said owners could face a fine of up to $1,000 a person, per day, according to borough ordinances.

Cermak agreed to investigate the possibility of citing the owners of the building at 29 E. Main St. for nonpermitted work after members of the Waynesboro Borough Council said they wanted to seek a means of punishing the owners.

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"They need to be an example to others that if you do this, you, too, will be fined," Councilman Allen Porter said.

Cermak said many people do work in the borough that is not permitted, but that if the council wanted, he would investigate the present situation.

Sheffler said he met with owners on Tuesday and that they are in the process of "shoring up" the wall.

"They are cleaning out the basement to shore up the wall by Friday or at the latest Monday or Tuesday," he said.

Earlier this week, Sheffler said the excavation work done by the owners involved digging out the dirt floor of the basement below the foundation. When it rained, he said water washed the dirt away causing the wall to collapse.

Twenty-four people have been displaced from neighboring buildings because of the collapsed wall and Sheffler said they will not be permitted to enter the buildings again until the wall is secure.

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