SOUTH WHITLEY â€” Every small town has a few unoccupied buildings, but buildings in the South Whitley downtown area which are empty or utilized as a warehouse have town council members concerned. One building in particular is owned by Mavis Whitehead which appears to be a warehouse inside and a potential fire waiting to ignite, according to town officials.
â€śA few years back, a notice was given to Mavis and she opened the building for a day and said she was in business,â€ť town attorney Greg Hockemeyer said. â€śWe need to go through with the unsafe building inspection which is the best approach and we have zoning or land use ordinances that we could get technicalities with a business versus a warehouse.â€ť
Council president Tony Starkey believes the building is completely full with storage items which constitutes a fire hazard.
â€śA few years ago, I walked through with the fire marshal and he just told her she needed to decide if it was a business or a warehouse because his rules were different depending on which way she declared,â€ť police chief Dave Wilkinson said.
Starkey believes the building is structurally sound, but requested Hockemeyer to check the legalities and the townâ€™s options on a business verses a warehouse.