Neighbors frustrated about abandoned building

Published 10:25 am Thursday, March 12, 2015

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Oh, the springtime views from the back yard.

Trees turning green, birds happily chirping and building nests … an abandoned building that has been partially burned and partially torn down.

That is what  residents of the Mumford Drive neighborhood in Mocksville are facing, and while town officials are working to get the area cleaned up, it can’t come fast enough for those who live nearby.

They look at the mess every day.

The old Monleigh building at Yadkinville Road and Mumford Drive had been abandoned years ago, with the owner, McDonald Contractor Inc., in bankruptcy.

Late last year, someone started a fire inside the building – an old sewing plant with a partial basement. Firefighters brought in a backhoe to bring a portion of the building down so they could be sure the fire had been extinguished.

It left a mess – one that motorists see when driving by – and one that neighborhood residents can’t escape.

Katherine Hursey said she has already seen folks pilfering through the rubble. Mocksville Police Chief Todd Penley said the department has received a “few” calls about people on the property. No arrests have been made for the fire determined to be either accidental or arson by Fire Marshal Jerry Myers. Someone had started a fire on the floor, and there were signs that people had been inside the building, although it had no electricity and windows.

Now, it’s illegal to step foot on the property. Davie County Building Inspector Chris Nuckols has condemned the building – making it a trespassing charge for anyone found on the site.

The process to get it cleaned won’t be quick, but it has started, Town Attorney Hank Van Hoy told town board members last week.

The owners have until May 25 to clear the building from the property, but that is unlikely, Van Hoy said. High Point Bank, which holds a lien against the property, is not likely to do anything either, he said.

Van Hoy said the process is complicated, but the most likely result will be the town would be faced with clearing the building from the site, giving the town a lien against the property for that cost.