Collapse Could Prompt Inspection Program

Keokuk, IA – The collapse of a vacant building in downtown Keokuk is expected to revive discussions about a commercial building inspection program.

Community Development Director Pam Broomhall says, at this time, her office does not have the authority to inspect commercial buildings. The creation of an inspection program has been discussed in recent years, but not enacted.

Broomhall says she will join with Fire Chief Mark Wessel and Code Enforcement Officer Kathie Mahoney in putting together a formal proposal for the Keokuk City Council. "We would just start out by telling people that we would need to check their building to make sure they were code compliant," says Broomhall, adding "if we see some problems, we would let them know if they were immediate problems or if we could work with them over a matter of time."

Broomhall says the Keokuk City Council has the final say on whether a commercial building inspection program is created. The city has also discussed an inspection program for rental properties.

Broomhall says it has been several years since she was in the building at 528 Main Street, adding that was not for city business. The former home of the Green Tambourine music store collapsed on July 31.

No one was injured and the building has been vacant for years.

The owner lives in Elgin, IL. There are several vacant buildings along Main Street that have out-of-town owners.