Letter: Action needed immediately on Thompson roof
As the owner and operator of Worthington Printing Company since 1985, a business that has been in the lower level (or basement) of the Thompson building since 1931, I would hope the city council stops delaying action on the roof project on the Thompson. My business has been severely affected by the lack of roof and the lack of management by the Lighthouse Management Co., which currently is in charge of the facility that is now owned by Wells Fargo Banks.
Since July 2018, I have had water seepage from the roof coming down the walls and running across the floors. This problem became worse during October with the extremely wet fall the area had. Since early October I have had to shop-vac water multiple times a day, during the work week as well as weekends. Every weekend since October I have had to run to my shop two to three times daily and shop-vac water to keep it from over running the entire back of the shop. This as well as five days in late February, during a cold snap, when all the businesses had no heat. The temperature in my shop was a high of 46 and a low of 38, causing me to lose four days of work/production.
Starting the second week of March I also started to get water drainage in the front office of my shop, and currently am still having this issue. The problem was so severe that I had water under and around my two main presses, again causing me during six of eight days to suspend operation and not produce anything, I have tried to be patient, but this has become extremely frustrating. I have been in contact almost daily with Lighthouse Management and get little to no satisfaction. In one instance, in early January, a steam pipe began leaking over and on one of my pieces of equipment. After daily complaints, it took them five weeks to get it fixed. These are just a few of my current problems.
Why don’t I just move my business? In the early 1980s, when the hotel was converted into apartments, the changing of entrances and exits basically built me into the space. Most of my equipment is far too big to get through the exits today. This makes my options extremely few. Who is responsible for the two weeks I lost not being able to produce anything? I know I am not. Is Lighthouse Management, Wells Fargo or the city of Worthington? I get no answers, only “Well, be patient or move.”
My businesses issues inside, why does the City Council need to act now? The building is seriously close to not being able to recover from this roof issue. If am I getting this much water four floors below the roof, can you even imagine what the apartment residents have to deal with, as well as the terrible mold issues and structural damage being inflicted? I have talked to many people who have been up in the apartments and every one of them says they doubt if it is even worth saving, one mentioning that he wouldn’t spend a penny on the roof. Any further delay gets the building closer to possibly being condemned. This is, of course, denied by all the individuals I have contacted at the city of Worthington.
I understand that the City Council has a tough decision on its hands, and myself as a taxpayer hates to see them having to spend money on the building. But the city, in May 2018, stepped in to oversee the issues for the residents and renters. This move guaranteed that the city was going to have to put tax dollars toward any issue it decided to address.
There is only one thing that can save the building, and that is a roof being put on it now - not in two weeks or two months or six months. All of the current residents and renters have been waiting for the roof since May last year, when the city stepped in.
In closing, if these issues end up being the death knell of Worthington Printing Co., a business that has been serving the area since 1931, it will be sad but life will go on. Losing the landmark of downtown Worthington, which the Thompson Hotel has been and hopefully always will be, would be a serious mistake in my opinion. I therefore call on the city of Worthington to make the right decision and put the roof on right now. Every day is causing distress to businesses and residents. Do the right thing now and go ahead with the Thompson roof project as soon as possible.