Victoria fined for building demo

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

June 29, 2014 at 1:29 a.m.

A state agency is penalizing Victoria officials for demolishing a building in Riverside Park without going through the proper channels.

Victoria City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on paying the $1,000 fine imposed by the Department of State Health Services.

A hired contractor demolished the cinder block building located across from the Lions Club Pavilion in Riverside Park in early spring 2013, before Parks and Recreation Director Colby Van Gundy assumed leadership of the department.

Van Gundy said the department has taken steps to fix the error.

"We've talked about this internally. ... Now that we recognize there was an error, how do we fix that error?" he said. "We don't want to be fined again."

The Texas Department of Health requires a 10-working-days notice when a municipality intends to demolish a public building.

"I'm not going to put anybody under the bus," Van Gundy said. "It was the responsibility of the city" to notify the state.

An asbestos inspection was conducted to ensure the project complied with the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Act. The building was used for storage and did not have electricity.

Van Gundy said this is not a situation he has dealt with before.

"I wouldn't have even thought about it myself - there's an old building, and we need to get rid of it," Van Gundy said. "We need to make sure that we're involving other departments that deal with these things on a regular basis."



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