A deteriorating, downtown Fort Scott building may soon get a new look as the city of Fort Scott and local business owners invest in the former Spoiled Brat building at 124 E. Wall Street with the help of a state grant.
Earlier this year, the Hoener family had approached the city with their plans to buy the building and repair the leaning wall of the structure. They planned to move forward with paying for the repair of the wall but asked if the city would be willing to set aside the amount of money the city planned spending to make the structure safe if nothing were done. This money would be used only in the event that something was discovered under the ground that made the cost significantly more than the quote and would help guarantee that the repairs could be finished in order to get the building back to a safe state.
Believing in the Hoener’s plan to repair the building and relocate their Hole in the Wall Liquor store on Oak Street to that structure, the city decided to assist by seeking the help of a state grant. In June, the Fort Scott City Commission received word they had been awarded up to $95,000 from the 2017 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant under the Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation funding category.
“Another great improvement to our downtown,” Codes Manager Rhonda Dunn said of the project, which is expected to also include second floor apartments.
The commission voted unanimously during their meeting Tuesday evening to accept the grant. Dunn said it is common for the city to accept the grant and then immediately administer it to another party such as the Hoeners for economic development.
Commissioner Randy Nichols said he wishes the family well as they take on the task and strive to repair the downtown building.
(This article has been edited to better reflect that the city did not front any money for the repair of the building.)