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Safety concerns following the recent collapse of a two-story porch in the rear of a vacant building prompted Franklinville officials to order the owner to clean up debris and erect a fence until repairs can be made.

Building Code Enforcement Officer Russell D. Hatch said he received assurances from Brad Raecher, owner of 8 East Park Square, that interior contents are being removed and plans are in place for cleanup of the fallen porch and repairs to the roof. Raecher also agreed to an inspection by Hatch once that work is completed.

According to the village law regarding unsafe buildings, the cost of tearing down the structure could be assessed against the tax roll, Hatch told the board.

"How far is the Village Board willing to go?" he asked, further noting that several buildings in the downtown area are in poor condition.

Richard E. Florkowski, owner of an adjacent storefront, said bricks and materials have fallen from the building onto his roof.

"The equipment is going out the front door. (Raecher) is dumping it back on the county for taxes. He's got a building that's in serious trouble," Florkowski added.

Board member Rich Larsson urged quick action, using all legal remedies available, pointing out the danger to neighborhood children who play in an alley behind the building, the potential for damage to nearby buildings and homes and the possibility for trespass.

In other matters, the board:

Agreed to consider setting aside $500 for park beautification in the 2001-02 budget proposal as a result of planning work under way by a six-member committee. The group is headed by Trustees Gregory R. Snyder and Richard D. Larsson, who describe the effort as a "think-tank" for a long-term plan to enhance the Park Square Historic District.

Scheduled a tax-grievance session for property owners from 6 to 10 p.m. next Tuesday.

Decided to send a letter seeking comments about parking issues from merchants and property owners around Park Square.

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