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December 04, 2016
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Preservationists lose Hessinger Building battle

LaBuda ruled that the town had adhered to their unsafe building procedures and could proceed with the demolition. That was on April 1. Seven days later, the teardown began, leaving precious little time for an appeal or to ask for a stay.

Even though the original building can never be brought back, there is still some chance that Plum could appeal to the appellate court. Plum’s attorney, Ronald Litchman, said, “I’m disappointed with LaBuda’s decision and I believe an appellate court would decide differently.”

But Plum, who is 68, suffers various physical problems, lives in Indiana and has limited resources to mount an appeal. Although she has been unable to afford to renovate the building, she has been paying taxes on it for years at an assessed value of $30,000.

Now, the cost of the demolition will be added to the tax bill, which she will likely be unable to pay. The building will ultimately be foreclosed by the county and sold at auction and county taxpayers will likely foot the bill for the tear-down.