Buildings fate unknown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The lack of a second on an attempt to pass a resolution to declare the Rosenbush Warehouse surplus property of the city at last week&8217;s council meeting left the future of the building undecided as members of the city council wrangle with the issue.

At the meeting mayor Cecil Williamson said the issue was forwarded to the council by the Building Committee, which had talked with the Rosenbush family about their interest in purchasing the building from the city after the initial outcry about listing the building as surplus. Councilman Jack Cooley said he was not aware that the issue would be raised at the meeting and was thus leery of making a decision without looking at the issue thoroughly.

Cooley said there were personal interests involved in the matter by the Rosenbush family, whose company Rosenbush Furniture donated the building to the city four years ago, and a quick decision wouldn&8217;t be just to their feelings or to the city. The matter was sent to the Building Committee for a recommendation after the Rosenbush family asked the city to reconsider declaring the building surplus and selling it when the matter was first brought before the council.

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The family asked the city to consider renting the building, which the city said had fallen into disrepair, at a low price to a tenet that would repair the building. Bert Rosenbush then asked the city to consider giving the property back, rather than selling the building he said had been donated to benefit the residents of Demopolis.

The building, which listed on the National Historic Register, was appraised by Brackin Real Estate when it was initially donated for $180,000 and a recent appraisal by Webb Reality listed its value at $30,500.

Rosenbush said he declined to buy the property the company, of which he and his wife own all the stock, donated to the city, because he no longer had the time or effort that would be needed to bring the deteriorated building back up to code. He said the building must be in total disrepair because he estimates the lot it sits on valued at the appraised cost.

Williamson couldn&8217;t be reached at time of press.