And while we strongly believe in local governments working with town residents to accomplish such tasks, when promises made are never fulfilled, then action needs to be taken.
Such has been the case in Roseboro, where the issue of remodeling the old bank building has been a topic for discussion for nearly two years. But talk has been all that’s occurred in that 24-month period. Nothing has been done to fix the dilapidated building, whose roof is literally about to cave in.
Yet owner Ransom Newkirk has promised time and again that work would be done. And the board has sat patiently by waiting for Newkirk to live up to the promises he’s made.
They’ve talked about the building, and they’ve waited; they’ve discussed the issue with Newkirk, and they’ve waited; they discussed the buildings disrepair and they’ve waited.
Earlier this week, they stopped waiting.
No one can blame them for growing tired of the cat-and-mouse game that is seemingly being played any more than one could blame them for issuing an ultimatum, as they did Tuesday night.
That ultimatum was quite clear: Either Newkirk begins work within the next three weeks to fix the building or the town will take over the project.
While it would be far better for Newkirk to take the necessary steps to get the badly damaged building back in shape, if he can’t, he owes town commissioners the courtesy of letting them know his situation and his plan.
Instead there have been promises and more promises, and even more promises, but no action.
And the result is a building sitting empty, in desperate need of repair, and a town board left to scratch its collective head in bewilderment.
It’s no wonder town commissioners are fed up. After all, they’ve let the situation sit, untended to, for nearly two years. In many ways that’s commendable since their inaction was a direct result of attempts to allow the property owner time to do as he said he would.
But at some point, with no sign of an effort being made, it becomes the town’s responsibility to do something to improve the looks of what has become an eyesore.
The board was right to move forward as it did, setting a time limit for Newkirk to begin work and giving themselves a deadline of sorts, as well, to determine what the next step will be if the town resident does nothing.
Now, Roseboro board members must follow through with the tough decision they’ve made, putting action behind their own words. If, in fact, nothing has been done to the old bank building within three weeks, then town commissioners must take necessary steps to deal with the situation.
If they don’t, the precedent they set won’t be a good one.
To date, the town board has done a commendable job. Everyone will be watching to see what their next move will be.