Fix it, or rip it down

On to another building issue in Lock Haven.

It is expensive and grueling to force the demolition of properties through code enforement.

Yet, that is a key role that local government must play when private property owners do not keep up their responsibilities.

Thus, the Town Tavern on Bellefonte Avenue, once a locally-owned and beloved restaurant-bar, has a huge, gaping hole in its roof.

The city is requesting its owner to provide a certified analysis of the building’s structural integrity. It sits next to a now-vacant lot where an old, fire-ravaged former furniture store once stood before it was razed.

In lieu of not rehabilitating the Town Tavern building, it should be demolished.

As City Manager Greg Wilson told The Express earlier this week, when the integrity of a building is in question, the only way to quell concern that public safety might be compromised is to have a structural engineer assess the facility.

As we said this week, it is easy to spin the dream that one day both lots might be combined and developed together.

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