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Clinton suing downtown building owner

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ANN MARIE AMES
August 11, 2008
— The village of Clinton has filed a lawsuit in Rock County Court that could end in the razing of a former bar on Allen Street.

The village wants the court to determine the crumbling building is a public nuisance and order property owner Alan Wiedmer to fix it. If he doesn’t, the village asks the court to authorize the village inspector to raze the building.


Wiedmer would be responsible for the cost of tearing down the building, said Mary Jensen, village president.


If the brick building at 104 and 106 Allen St. comes down, it could end years of trying to get the building fixed, Jensen said.


Wiedmer told The Janesville Gazette he was meeting with an architect today to look at preliminary plans to renovate the 100-year-old building that originally was a hotel and later a bar and grill.


The reason for the delay, Wiedmer said, is that he doesn’t know the best use of the building. The architect’s plans will determine that, he said.


“We are finishing plans to remodel the building,” Wiedmer said. “But the end use has not been determined. First, we will bring the building back into safe condition.”


According to court documents, the village since October 2006 has been sending letters to Wiedmer, 311 Durand St., Clinton. Jensen said the conversation with Wiedmer, a former board member, goes back longer than that.


Wiedmer was cited and found guilty in Clinton municipal court in December 2006 of failing to maintain the building, according to court documents.


The village sent four letters to Wiedmer in 2007 and 2008 warning him to fix the building, according to court documents.


In June, the village inspector found the building still deteriorating, and a brick wall was “about to fall off” and leaning into an alley, according to court records.


Chunks of brick and concrete have fallen off the back of the building, Jensen said.


“Either he fixes it up, or it comes down,” Jensen said. “It’s unsafe.”


The building is next to Boxcars Pub and Grub. Wiedmer said he used to be a part owner of Boxcars.


Wiedmer bought the building at 104 and 106 Allen St. in 1995 and moved the bar from that building into Boxcars, he said.



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