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JCPD chief allows city to demolish crumbling building and neighbor

The structure at 200 E. High St. in downtown Jefferson City has been crumbling since a sudden partial collapse last July.

Since then, its owner and those of the neighboring buidling, 202 E. High St., have been negotiating how to safely demolish what’s left of the building. The complicating factor is the shared wall that both buildings rely on.

According to city officals, it’s only a matter of time before another serious collapse occurs at 200 and 202. No one has been allowed inside either building for several months because they have been deemed dangerous.

The owner of 200, Andrew Neidert, filed a lawsuit against the owners of 202, Carol and Ruben Wieberg, claiming that a 19th century agreement found that the shared wall was not his responsibility. A judge is still reviewing the arguments in that case, which could have major implications over who has to pay the bill for demolition.

As the owners wait for the ruling, the city is working to demolish both buildings to make the area safe.

Jefferson City Police Department Chief Roger Schroeder was appointed as a hearing officer by City Administrator Steve Crowell. Schroeder was tasked with hearing the city’s argument and that of Carol and Ruben Wieberg through their attorney, David Bandre.

The city asked Schroeder for permission to proceed with demolition and to pay the Wiebergs the assessed value of their home. Bandre said that would sell its value short and argued against a city-driven demolition.

According to MidMoGIS, the assessed value of 202 E. High St. is $305,000.

On Friday, Schroeder said the Wiebergs have 60 days to repair or demolish the problem areas of the building, which include the shared wall, or the city may proceed with demolition.

City officials said that they would cease to work toward demolition if Neidert and the Weibergs could do it on their own.

“It is still City staff’s belief that the best possible outcome of this unfortunate situation is for the parties to resolve the issues with their buildings privately,” Jefferson City Counselor Ryan Moehlman said in an email Friday. “However, today’s order preserves the City’s ability to step in and secure the public health, safety, and welfare by addressing the failing state of these buildings.”

Bandre told ABC 17 News he and the Wiebergs had no comment on Schroeder’s ruling.

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