Owner Speaks Out About Crumbling Mannsville BuildingPosted: Updated:
Once a Main Street mainstay in the village of Mannsville, what's left of the Huggins and Bettinger building today is mostly bones.
Seven years ago, the building's future looked brighter.
Rose McKenna-Davis acquired the building for a single dollar in 2012 with hopes of bringing back the old days.
"I'd spent a lot of time trying to fix everything. I wanted to try and bring the store fronts back and do the upstairs and have it back as apartments again and I just had such a tough time," she said.
From the outside, the building appears to be falling apart on its own, but McKenna-Davis says she believes people were vandalizing the place and trying to keep her away from the property.
"I would go there; things would be stolen away from there. I would leave something out; it would be gone. I would try to lock the place, I would come back; locks were ripped off," she said.
She brought her concerns to the village.
Mayor Lori Cashel says the board advised her to go to the police, which McKenna-Davis says she did.
State Police say they don't have any records of her complaints and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office would not confirm if it had any reports.
Nothing came of the complaints and McKenna-Davis lost hope in restoring the building.
She stopped trying to fix it and even stopped paying the taxes on it. Her thoughts now turn towards selling it.
"Staying away from it and not even attempt to try to do anything except for maybe just try to sell it," she said.
But a sale will be tough. Despite not collecting taxes on it, the county wants nothing to do with the property because of the state that it's in. And neither McKenna-Davis nor the village have the resources to tear the building down.
So for now, it appears there is no solution and the building remains a decaying artifact of Mannsville's past.