Council Members hold City Depts. accountable for deadly building collapse

Tough questions on deadly building collapse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A building collapses in July which killed a man inside and city leaders believe it never should have happened. 

“I'm sorry if I appear angry, because I am, and we will continue to ride you all because this didn't have to happen if people had been doing their job,” said Councilwoman Jessica Green in a committee meeting Wednesday evening. 

Some councilmembers are questioning key city departments involved, like the health department and codes and regulations, both of whom received complaints that the building was unstable and should be closed. 

“Open wide windows, no frames, doors busted up, I cannot for the life of me understand why we had multiple agencies go out to this place and did not shut these people down,” explained Councilwoman Green. 

WHAS11 News obtained documents that show the city did issue violation notices.

“Inspector Kevin Manring was on the property on March 8, 2016, and at that time he ordered a stop work order. He visited the site again on May 12, 2016 and as a result of that visit that stop work order remained in effect,” explained Director of Develop Louisville, Deborah Bilitski.

Council members fired back and asked if there was anyone sent to the site between those two months.

“What I'm hearing you say is that we send out stop work orders but we never actually send someone like the next day or two to make sure people stop working?” asked one council member. 

Bilitski responded, “I can't say never."

The Health Department says they noted problems with construction of the building, but those problems weren't addressed with Les' Meat Market which occupied the building 

“There were notations of floors, walls, ceiling being in disrepair, and as that relates to a food safety inspection, that's a food safety and sanitation issue, it's considered a non-critical violation in my file,” explained a representative from the Health Department. 

Council members said that they're concerned there's a lack of communication between key departments.

“Does the right know what the left hand is doing, that's what I'm getting at,” questioned Green. “We do communicate, I can't speak on this case through, but our inspectors will reach out to the building inspectors and we have communication with the fire department and the health department,” said a representative with Codes and Regulations.

Councilwoman Green did file a city audit which is expected to be completed in 45 days. 


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