Code Enforcement Officer Shelley Humble updated council on the Whistle Stop property at this week’s Creswell City Council meeting. The days of demolition for the 213 S. Mill St. building are nearing.
There have been least four fires at the building since it was built in 1897, South Lane County Fire & Rescue Fire Chief John Wooten said in a previous Chronicle interview.
There was a fire in October 2015 that extensively damaged the building, and another in November 2017. After last year’s fire, which displaced 15 people, the structure of the building was considered a complete loss.
Humble, City Administrator Michelle Amberg and City Planner Maddie Phillips have been meeting with Whistle Stop owner, Carlton ”Rocky” Garton, to discuss the timeline of demolition.
Garton is working with two architects and an engineer, and is currently taking apart the second floor of the building from the inside-out, Humble said.
Construction fencing on the west and east sides of the property should be up by the end of this week, Humble said, to deter anyone from coming on the property while demolition is in progress.
”Rocky is hoping to have the second story completely gone and the flooring all buttoned up by the first of October, then he will continue to demolish the building,” Humble said. Walls will come down after Garton receives new plans from the architect.
Plans for a microbrewery and retail shops in the building are being set in motion, Humble said. Garton plans to have a beer tasting room, retail shops and a veranda space for customers to sit out and enjoy a beer, Humble said.
”It’ll be a rustic nod to Creswell’s past,” Amberg said.
The building used to be a prune drying facility, so the idea is to incorporate the old with the new, Humble said. ”He wants to keep that old-time ambience.”
Humble said that Garton is talking with several different potential investors.
Garton said in another interview in 2017 that he expected the rebuild to take a minimum of two years.
Also at this week’s council meeting, Humble updated council on the situation at the 815 Killingsworth Property. The Randy Mogstad family house has been subject to many citizen-driven complaints about the unkempt nature of the property over the years, with most complaints coming from Mogstad’s neighbor, Ruby Miller.
Last month, the situation was spotlighted during a city council meeting, at which time it was decided that mediation between the two parties would be attempted.
Since then, Amberg, Mayor Dave Stram and Humble have been communicating with Miller, but Humble said Miller will not agree to try mediation.
”If Mrs. Miller chooses not to participate, there is little the City can do,” Council President Richard Zettervall said.
Humble said she will continue to take complaints issued by Miller, but will otherwise not be monitoring the Mogstad property. No other solutions are being pursued.
The next Creswell City Council meeting is a work session, and will be held on Monday, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 13 S. 1st St. These are open meetings, and the public is encouraged to attend.