Elks Building project on hold; permit fee unpaid
Granville "Beaver" Brinkman faces yet another road block in renovating the historic Elks Building on First Avenue West in downtown Dickinson.
A legal notice ordering work be stopped can be seen taped to the front door.
Passersby will see an untouched pile of bricks, architectural drafts and beams when looking in the windows of what was once an Elks Lodge.
Brinkman purchased the building from the city in 2005 and a massive 2007 fire gutted it causing delays in the project, which has been ongoing ever since. The city has given Brinkman five extensions for renovations, the latest deadline being June 30, according to a previous Press article.
City Inspector Melvin Zent said he posted the notice on March 9 because Brinkman has yet to pay for and pick up his $4,227 building permit which was issued in July.
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said the city contacted Brinkman on numerous occasions by phone and by e-mail to let him know he had to pay for his building permit but Brinkman failed to do so.
Zent said he and other city staff realized Brinkman did not receive the building permit when they came across it while working.
"We gave Brinkman until the end of February to pay for and pick up the permit and when he didn't, that is when we decided to take action," Zent said.
Kessel said no work can be done on the building until the permit is picked up and paid for.
"Once Brinkman pays for it he can again begin work," Zent said, adding issuing the stop work notice is standard practice for the city in these types of cases.
"And if that means he doesn't pay for and pick it up by his renovation deadline (June 30), well that is just the way it goes," Kessel said.
Mayor Dennis Johnson said the chances of Brinkman having a substantial amount of work done by a City Commission-ordered June 30 extension are very slim.
"If Brinkman does not follow through with his promises, the city plans to exercise its right under the contract and have the title returned to the city without any debt or liens," Johnson said.
If the city took it back and there is debt, it's unclear what will happen with the building, Johnson said, adding "I think that will be an issue."
Past Press articles have said the building was to be used for condos and businesses.
Calls to City Inspector Leonard Schwindt and City Engineer Shawn Soehren went unreturned Thursday and Friday.
Commissioners Carson Steiner and Klayton Oltmanns, City Attorney Matt Kolling and Public Information Officer Bill Fahlsing would not comment.
The Press could not locate contact information for Brinkman.
Commissioners and residents will be filled in on the project at the 4:30 p.m. Dickinson City Commission meeting Monday at City Hall, 99 Second St. E.