Blight Money to Stabilize Collapsing Building

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SHAMOKIN -- Shamokin city leaders had an emergency meeting Monday morning after an old dress factory started collapsing.

The city has been left to clean up the mess but doesn't have the money to do it.

The building on North Shamokin Street is a former dress factory and it started to collapse on Sunday.

The city's main goal is to figure out how to stabilize the building and now they have the money to do it.

Drone video of the former dress factory shows the terrible shape the place is in and how it is slowly collapsing.

Shamokin's mayor tells Newswatch 16 the Northumberland County Housing Authority has raised money to help communities in situations like this.

The housing authority has agreed to give the city around $10,000 to use toward stabilizing the building.

City officials had already been working with the group for weeks to fix the building, but things were kicked into high gear over the weekend when part of the building collapsed onto the street, knocking out power to 1,200 homes and businesses for part of Easter Sunday.

"And then it happened, so now we're committed. The housing authority has committed up to $10,000 in the short term to help alleviate this problem," said authority member Ed Christiano.

The former dress company has been closed for about 25 years. Ask the neighbors what they think of the building and they'll tell you it's like living across the street from a ticking time bomb.

"Each day or each rainy day or snow I would be like, 'Oh, it's going to come down,'" said neighbor Pat Herrold.

"Felt like a very low-grade earthquake, looked out my window and I saw all the wires flapping in the wind," recalled neighbor Mary Sperow.

No homes were damaged and no one was hurt, but people in Shamokin were left without power on a holiday.

"And then it was like 6:30, 7 until the power came back on, so what are you going to do, have Easter at 2 o'clock in the morning?"

Shamokin's mayor tells us they want to eventually demolish the building, but that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Right now they only have enough money to stabilize the building and hope to see a crew working by the end of the week.