Judge orders owners not to use building
By D.A. Wilkinson
Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike has issued a temporary restraining order against a couple who own a building that is falling on the Salem Branch of The Butler Institute of American Art.
The order means that the owners cannot use the building, which currently is a tanning salon.
A hearing on the restraining order will be at 1 p.m. April 28.
Judge Pike had an ex parte hearing Tuesday. That means that the owners of the property were not at the hearing.
The restraining order prohibits owners Timothy G. and Deborah A. Smith, 1329 Benton Road, Salem, from using the property.
The property owned by the Smiths is at 363 E. State St. The western wall of their building adjoins the Salem branch of The Butler, at 343 E. State St.
Michael Burns, a certified fire safety inspector for the Salem Fire Department, stated in a court document that the building has “dangerous conditions.”
They include, “falling debris, including bricks, which have on more than one occasion damaged” The Butler.
The first complaint was issued Nov. 16, 2010.
Since then, Burns said, the period for the Smiths to make repairs has expired.
The roof continues to leak, and there are holes in the upper floors that create a risk to fire fighters, according to Burns.
Water from the Smith’s building also damaged the interior of The Butler, according to Burns.