Demolition Headache

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

What started out as a quick knock-down and a quick victory for KCPD, the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association and the city turned into an ordeal lasting over a week due to issues with the demolition contractor slated to knock down 3611 Roberts Avenue.

KCPD’s Captain Ryan Mills sent emails out to Scarritt officials last Friday, February 2nd indicating that the property would be down the next day. In total, over 8 days passed, before the ramshackle haven for street crime was finally demolished.

According to the city, demo contractor Britz Wrecking, out of Platte City, MO, had pulled the water shut off permit on Tuesday February 6th. “We usually give the contractor a few days after that to get things moving on the property,” said John Baccala, spokesman for the city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department. “On this one however, we’ve urged the contractor to accelerate the demolition given its condition and the fact it’s a crime magnet for the community.”

East Patrol Captain Ryan Mills agreed, stating in an email that he’d be at the property personally to start tearing boards off if that’s what it took. “This was supposed to be an easy win for the neighborhood, us, and the city, but the contractor has really slowed us down,” said Mills.

The Northeast News tried reaching Britz Wrecking repeatedly by phone and through their Facebook page, but their voicemail was full and nobody responded to the messages we left.

“On the bright side,” said Baccala, “the city has taken steps to speed demolitions when they’re critical to neighborhood safety, whether it’s from crime or a precariously positioned structure.”

“We’ve created a one-stop shop for demolition contractors so they don’t have to go all over the countryside to pull all their kill-permits,” Baccala added.

Demolition crews arrived on site on Monday afternoon after an almost ten day delay and began the long overdue process of ridding the community of another eyesore.

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