Timberville to discuss repairing 100-year-old building

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TIMBERVILLE, Va. (WHSV) — On Thursday, the Town Council of Timberville will hear a proposal to repair a 100-year-old deteriorating building, that has some concerned about its safety.

As you drive by what used to be the general store on North Main Street in town, you may not see anything out of the ordinary, but if you stop and look on the side, it looks like a car might have driven through it.

Austin Garber, the town manager, said what caused that giant hole was not a car, but rather years of neglect from owners.

"Typically buildings that have issues like this come from neglect," Garber said. "People not paying attention to the condition of the building, and buildings that sit vacantly, they don't age very well."

Garber said the town is aware of the safety concerns some residents may have. He said at the end of last year, officials from the county came out and deemed the building unsafe.

Donna Sacra, the building owner, said the building was already starting to fall apart when she bought it three years ago. She said she thinks that's why the owners sold it to her in the first place.

"They didn't do anything to fix up the building, and it just began to deteriorate to the point where it was barely standing," Sacra said. "When it got to that point, they called me asking would you like to have the building?"

At Thursday night's town council meeting, Sacra will present her plan to the council on what needs to be done to fix the building.

"So the council has been addressing this issue, and the property owner has submitted a plan to repair the building to a safe condition," Garber said. "Where it will be deemed safe by the building official and the council has put requirements on what that plan would contain."

Sacra said she has had engineers come out to check the damage and the repairs are costly. She said she's looking at ways to raise the money as the total cost of the project could be $100,000.

Sacra said she has a long tie to the building as her parents once owned a shop inside when she was a kid. After buying it, she wanted to make the bottom level a thrift store to support her non-profit, Mission Rummage.

Through the organization, she helps the homeless in the area have a place to stay and have a fresh meal. She hopes what she can repair will make an impact on the community.

"The only thing we can leave behind is something to help the community," Sacra said.

Right now, Sacra is looking for help with moving large items out of the building. If you would like to help out or donate, you can email her at rummagedrumcat@yahoo.com.