By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
The Marting’s building, which has become one of the largest point of contention in city government since the city bought the building more than 10 years ago, leaving it empty and unused, will cost the city $11,000 if the city chooses to shut down the elevators and turn off power to the building.
To close down the elevators, the city will need to close off the chassis and the shaft itself, completely disabling the two elevators, at a cost of $11,000.
The Portsmouth Daily Times learned last week that the city pays an average of $4,000 a year in electrical bills for the building, and $1,500 a year to the State of Ohio for inspection of those elevators.
Shutting down the elevators would allow the city to turn off the power to the building. Another building owned by the city, known as the Adelphia building, has already had the power turned off, and it has been broken into twice since November.
When purchased, city officials expected the Marting’s building to become the location of the city building, but residents ended those plans with a vote refusing renovation of that building for any use. Recently, an unnamed non-profit organization offered to take the building over for $1 and lease most of it back to the city for office space, but after the proposal saw the light of day, the offer came off the table.
Now, some people are calling for the building to be torn down, and have even suggested the Marting’s Foundation, which reportedly has some $1.4 million it would give back to the city if the building would be used for city government, should pay to have the building torn down.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.