Dispute between city over parking lot collapse enters second yea

Dispute between city over parking lot collapse enters second year

Posted:
A big hole in that parking lot has been visible along U.S. 27 just south of the city for nearly two years now. Efforts were initially made to fix it, but they failed. A big hole in that parking lot has been visible along U.S. 27 just south of the city for nearly two years now. Efforts were initially made to fix it, but they failed.
"That's where the wall collapsed, right here in this spot," Gilliam showed 6 News. "There is about a 2 and a half to 4 foot hole there." "That's where the wall collapsed, right here in this spot," Gilliam showed 6 News. "There is about a 2 and a half to 4 foot hole there."
"I have instructed my city officials that a year and a half is more than enough time for him to come up with engineering plans and survey documentation for either the city council to hear his appeal or for him to repair this," said Harold Balcom. "I have instructed my city officials that a year and a half is more than enough time for him to come up with engineering plans and survey documentation for either the city council to hear his appeal or for him to repair this," said Harold Balcom.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

HARRIMAN (WATE) - A dispute in Harriman between a store owner and the city over a parking lot collapse is spilling into it's second year.

A big hole in that parking lot has been visible along U.S. 27 just south of the city for nearly two years now. Efforts were initially made to fix it, but they failed.

The expanse has widened over time, and both sides admit it has becomes increasingly dangerous.

Martin Gilliam owns Hill Top Pawn Shop. He tells 6News that he closed his business last May mainly because the parking lot in front of his store caved in.

The 6 ft by 15 ft wide hole has swallowed more than half of his parking lot.

You can't miss the warning barrels as you go south on U.S. 27 out of Harriman.

"That's where the wall collapsed, right here in this spot," Gilliam showed 6 News. "There is about a 2 and a half to 4 foot hole there."

Gilliam says the hole was created when a culvert collapsed nearly two years ago.

The culvert, or conduit, runs under two parking lots and was dug years before Martin bought his building.

Gilliam says he poured Cement into the hole, hoping to fix the problem. It didn't work.

"It's got the potential of being very dangerous. It's on the side of a main highway," said Gilliam.

Gilliam says the city has told him he has to repair the hole and that it's on his property. But he believes it's the city's responsibility to fix it.

"A good portion of it is there's, I think the water main caused it. But I can't get them to work with me on that. They say it is mine. But I have already spent and spent. But that water line is what caused it," said Gilliam.

On August 17, 2012, the City of Harriman sent a notice, saying in part "the collapse of the drainage system is dangerous and an imminent threat."

Gilliam had 10 days to make repairs back in August 2012, but his attorney appealed and won a delay.

City Attorney Harold Balcom admits Harriman has been slow in forcing the issue of repairing the hole.

Balcom claims Gilliam has had enough time for the engineers he was to hire to come up with a plan of action.

"I have instructed my city officials that a year and a half is more than enough time for him to come up with engineering plans and survey documentation for either the city council to hear his appeal or for him to repair this," said Balcom.

The hole is now within a few feet of U.S. 27. Parts of the parking lot are collapsing next to a drain installed by the state when the road was widened.

"It's just an endangerment to the public. I'm afraid a child is going to go in there or someone is going to get hurt," said Arlene Carr, who owns a business next to the pawn shop.

"I'd like to see it get fixed or determine who really is responsible," said Gilliam. "I just can't see that the butt of this is my responsibility."

The city's attorney says he expects Mr. Gilliam to explain his plan at a city meeting next month.

"The city's position is very simple. This hole exists on private property. It is not within the state right of way with U.S. 27 that we see out here," said Balcom.

 

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