West Bend inspectors: Building not fit for human habitation
More wrangling about former Bermico building


July 8, 2015

 Numerous bright pink signs that read “Stop Work” are seen posted on the former Bermico Building on Tuesday afternoon. The West Bend building and plumbing inspectors signed off on the order because of permit issues.
Alex Zank/Daily News

WEST BEND - West Bend’s building inspector has issued a stop work order to halt renovation of the former Bermico building.

In May, a Washington County judge dismissed the city’s legal effort to have the building, owned by John Bagley at 2100 Northwestern Ave., razed after he spent thousands of dollars on renovations to bring it up to code to lease commercial space.

on Monday, the city posted work-halt posters on the building. The notice said the building was unfit for human habitation.

“The city recently conducted an inspection because it had reason to believe some work had been done on the building without appropriate permits,” City Administrator T.J. Justice said.

Justice said it will be up to Bagley to get proper permits before he does more work on the building.

Bagley said the city issued the order because concerns had been raised about a toilet.

“We had a water line repaired several months ago so we could provide a working toilet in the building,” Bagley said. “Because of the legal dispute with the city, they were not issuing permits for work on the building at that time so we had the water line repaired to provide a working toilet without getting the permit.”

Bagley said he won’t be able to work until he meets with the city Plan Commission in August and can obtain the required permit.

For almost four years, the city has raised concerns with the building’s past and present owners about its structural condition. The city had described the building as dilapidated, dangerous and unsafe.

Judge James Muehlbauer ruled in May he had concerns over whether the city had followed state statutes in its pursuit of a raze order. He dismissed the case.

“This isn’t going to go away and I’m urging the sides to try to work together to reach some kind of agreement,” Muehlbauer said after the ruling.

As part of the legal fight, Bagley filed a counterclaim against the city but withdrew that action after Muehlbauer’s ruling.

“I just want to work with the city and get my building completed,” Bagley told the court at the May hearing.

When asked what might happen next in the dispute Justice said “stay tuned.”

Reach reporter Joe VanDeLaarschot at .