Suwannee Democrat


December 14, 2012

Warren Street sinkhole

City vs. Civilians

Live Oak — The city of Live Oak and at least one of the owners of two condemned buildings in downtown Live Oak are at odds with one another which is stalling the repair of Warren Street. 
The street from Ohio Avenue to Pine Avenue has been closed since late June when TS Debby wreaked her havoc here. A sinkhole formed partially under the road and two commercial buildings that back Warren Street. The two buildings were closed to the public soon thereafter and were condemned.

The owners of the buildings, John Chambliss and John Robinson, and the city of Live Oak have been waiting on each other to make the first move.

According to Chambliss, the city is waiting for him and Robinson to knock down the structures before they go in to repair the street. Chambliss wants the city to buy their condemned buildings and tear them down. Chambliss claims that the cost for the city to have the buildings torn down would be significantly cheaper than it would be for them, the owners, to have done.

“If they go and repair the road, its (building) just going to fall down,” said Chambliss. “I was hoping the city would buy the buildings. If they bought mine and Robinson’s, they could knock them down and it would be a lot cheaper.”

According to the city’s public works director, the option to buy the buildings isn’t going to fly. 
“The city does not do anything on private property. I don’t buy buildings,” said Public Works Director Brent Whitman. “All I’m trying to do is get my roads fixed.”

A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 24 to decide the fate of the buildings and the future of Warren Street.


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