Sept. 11, 2013 — Cymilee Napier lives in her grandmother's old house in Olive Hill. The Tygart Creek Elementary School teacher resides there with her husband, Johnny, and their two-year-old son, Elan.
The young family is trapped inside the home because the building next door hasn't been cleaned since the massive flooding of 2010.
The Napiers attended the Olive Hill City Council meeting last month but so far have seen no progress in getting the building torn down.
“It smells like mold and flood,” Mrs. Napier told the Journal-Times. “And it’s even worse when it rains.”
The building was home to Lykins Insurance before the floods. According to Napier, other than some superficial cleanup done by the city, the building remains untouched.
Rushing flood water washed out one wall of the building's basement, opening the structure to the elements.
The hole, which runs almost the full length of the building, is supported by one steel pole.
“I am afraid that someone could get hurt over there,” Napier said. “God forbid someone fall into that mess or the building itself falls down.”
Napier believes the city is within its rights to condemn and demolish the building. However city leaders aren't so sure.
“The building can't be torn down with liens or a mortgage against it,” said Mayor Kenny Fankell. “We are looking into all our options but we have to jump through some hoops and make sure we go about this in the right way.”
Fankell said a letter was delivered to building owner Donnie Lykins on Sept. 3, giving him 45 days to “take care of the building.”
Lykins has been to the city building for a building permit, which he cannot get without EPA approval.
“I have to get the building code enforcement to hold a meeting to get a permit to go before the EPA and get it checked for asbestos, to go back to the city to get a permit to knock it down,” Lykins said.