Jacksonville residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on the cleanup of the former Yum Yums building this week.
The South Main Street building, which last housed Yum Yums Texas Style restaurant, was lost in an April fire, and its cleanup has been a topic of conversation among some residents.
Jacksonville Public Works Director Will Cole said the city cleaned up public areas, such as the alley, streets and sidewalks, and took down walls that were considered dangerous.
However, the rest was deemed private, and the city cannot spend local taxpayer money to clean up private property, he said.
But resident Emily Griffin, who owns Snaps Photography, next to the former Yum Yums building, said she can't tear down either of her buildings until Yum Yums is torn down.
Cole said he told Ms. Griffin that the city is not prohibiting her from going back into business, and will assist if she wants to open her business again.
"My advice is to clean it all up and start from scratch …" he said.
"The city will assist her in repairing her building in the form of expediting permits etc."
Earlier this month, city officials held a daytime public forum, where residents could comment and ask questions about the former Yum Yums building, Cole said. He estimated about 12 attended.
He said another forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce St.,
Additionally, he said, notices were recently posted at the former Yum Yums building, which is owned by Robert and Tina Lane, and at Ms. Griffin's business, because the buildings are unsecure.
He said city staff will recommend that the board of adjustments, which meets Oct. 8, require that they be secure. If board members approve the recommendation, and there is noncompliance, then fines may be assessed at that point, he said.
Ms. Griffin questioned the notice and the city's timing with it, about five months after the fire.
"They're trying to enforce the code on me, and I'm the one who's trying to get something done," she said.
Ms. Griffin said Monday she and others who have been involved, including friends, family and other community members, planned to get together to talk about Thursday's meeting and what questions might be asked.
"My ultimate goal is just to be able to get my buildings torn down and cleaned up in the same location so Jacksonville doesn't look run down. … I don't want to leave our downtown like this," she said.