Downtown Murray is open for business.
Following Saturday night’s collapse of Law Office of Rick Jones, Murray Main Street Manager Deana Wright and Chamber of Commerce President Aaron Dial called a special town meeting to discuss how the city will move forward after the building collapse.
After several roads being blocked off, Murray City Administrator Matt Mattingly said most of the roads are now open to the public.
Mattingly said Murray Electric System would not be able to repair any outages related to the collapse until workers are given approval based on the engineer’s report.
Fifteen businesses were forced to close; eight of the buildings were on the same block as the collapse and others were affected by power outages due to the collapse.
Along with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center at Murray State, Mattingly said the city was providing those businesses on a case-by-case basis with resources for potential relocation.
Mattingly said the downtown square in Murray lost a building from the 1800s, and he hopes the owner will plan to rebuild to keep downtown vital and operating.
“The city does not have official permission to determine the cause or know what it was caused by, but as of now it is believed to be because of the age,” Mattingly said. “The city hasn’t looked at any other buildings and property owners need to inspect their buildings.”
On Wednesday, the contractor mobilized some equipment and started removing debris.
Michael Mangold, senior from Murray, said the building collapse and road closures blocked him from going to church on Sunday. He also works at 5th & Main Coffees and said disruption has affected his customers.
“It has honestly effected me more by scaring off customers from 5th & Main Coffees,” Mangold said. “Or it is at least making people think that all of downtown is closed off. We’ve seen an uncharacteristic drop in business this week due to the collapse.”
Mangold said while he thinks business will go back to normal in a few weeks, he said the faster the city can fix downtown, the better.
Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor