DAVIS—A convenience store that’s been sitting vacant after an interior fire about a year ago, followed by damage from heavy winds, was given one more chance to clean up or have the property declared as dilapidated.
Owner Muhammad “Sid” Siddique of New Davis Soonerette, 602 E. Main St., said the reason nothing has been done with the property is because he had to hire an attorney to fight the insurance company, who he said does not want to pay the full amount they believe is needed to repair the store.
However, residents in the area have complained that the store is not only an eyesore, but a safety issue as well, city council members said during their regular meeting Monday night.
“The security fencing that you put in front, to me, it’s just a temporary-type fencing and it is down on the east side. It’s been torn down from the building,” city manager Tom Graham said. “The building is getting in very, very bad shape on the front. I would expect the wind to knock part of it down.”
Sid told the council the insurance company will release some funds on Feb. 28, at which point he said he will begin working on the store.
“I don’t want to keep this store closed. It’s a huge investment,” Sid said.
He added that when he was asked to put a fence around it, he did put a fence around it. It wasn’t until Monday that he found out people go into the store.
Council member Darryl McCurtain said the back door is still open and advised Sid to close the door and lock it.
“They’re climbing over the fence and going in,” Graham added.
“I understand you’re not here, but that’s not really anybody else’s responsibility but yours to keep that safe from other people climbing in it and stuff like that,” council member Josh Oakley said. “So I mean, we’ve gotta do something to keep those kids out of there.”
Sid told the council he could board the door and an opening above the door near the attic, as well. He was expected to do the work Tuesday; however, Graham said he’s not sure if he was able to get around to it due to the rainy weather.
Council member Brett Knight told Sid since he will receive an insurance check on Feb. 28 and the council doesn’t meet again until March 13, Sid has until March 13 to start construction or they will declare it dilapidated.
“No ifs, ands or buts,” Knight said.
The undisputed amount being released by the insurance should be enough to clean the store up and remodel it, Sid said.
Both the city council and city manager asked that Sid or Sid’s attorney stay in contact and update them throughout the process.
“Sid’s been a part of this community. I mean, I remember shopping there when I was 16, so that’s been 13 years ago. So I don’t think he’s trying to lead us astray or not be truthful with us, but at the same time, we’ve gotta watch out for our citizens who have contacted us that are wanting action,” Knight said. “And that’s what we’re here for.”
Knight added that if they do not see any kind of progress being made by their next meeting and Sid chooses not to do anything, they will take action.
Attorney Drew Houghton is representing Sid in litigation agains the insurance company. Houghton could not be reached by The Ardmoreite on Tuesday.