City told to wait week for assessment of collapsed building; mayor considers other options

Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said that her Wednesday meeting with the owner of the partially collapsed building at 620 S. Main St. did not produce the answers that she sought.

“I met with Mr. [Garland] Trice and told him that first the city needs to know if the building is insured,” Hollingsworth said. “He replied that we would have to consult with his attorney to find out.”

Hollingsworth said that Trice informed her that he had secured a structural engineer to assess the building’s soundness but indicated that it would be a week to 10 days before a report would be ready.

“I told him that with Main Street closed off in the area of his building and the business next door unable to open, we have to address the situation right now,” Hollingsworth said.

The mayor said that if Trice is unable to confirm that his engineer can adhere to the expedited time line requested by the city, a next course of action will need to be determined.

“If we don’t get this settled by noon Thursday we will have to move on to Plan B,” Hollingsworth said. “I am in the hope that, working with Mr. Trice, we will come out with a win-win situation for all as to what is best for the city and our downtown and to go back to business as usual. That is our goal.”

Attempts to reach Trice for comment were unsuccessful.