By Matthew Saari

A decades-long battle over a structural hazard may be coming to a close for the village of Whitehall.

Whitehall Mayor Phil Smith

Mayor Phil Smith broached the topic of taking ownership of the notorious Flat Iron building, with the goal of demolishing the building, during last week’s village board meeting. Smith said trustee Tim Watson had approached him about the topic following the April 10 public hearing on the budget.

“I’m bringing it up; I’m going to throw it out there,” Smith said.

Smith said he asked village attorney Erika Sellar-Ryan about the feasibility of the village using either eminent domain or “some other process that’s relatively new.”

The state Attorney General’s office defines eminent domain as “another word for condemnation – the right of the government to take private property for a public purpose.”

Smith said Monday he wasn’t sure how long this process would take.

“To be honest I really don’t know,” he said. “I’m hoping we have more info from Erika at our next meeting.”

Although the Flat Iron building has no owner to fight the village over ownership, the Attorney General’s website states the process of establishing eminent domain can be lengthy.

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

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