Local News

Town Suing Business Owner Over Failure To Clear Fire Debris

Posted September 3, 2003

— A Moore County town is taking one of its downtown business owners to court. The lawsuit is the result of a fire in the Aberdeen historic district 10 months ago.

In November, fire gutted the Moneymaker's Trading Company.

On the night of the fire, company owner Phillip Moneymaker indicated the cleanup would come quick. Ten months later, the rubble remains.

Town leaders, growing impatient over the failure to clean up the site, are suing Moneymaker.

"We feel like we have given Mr. Moneymaker the time to get this done. We've given and given," said Bill Zell, town manager.

In addition to the lawsuit, the town council is adding a fine of $50 for every day the rubble remains.

Moneymaker has said cleanup costs will run about $100,000 and is waiting for the insurance company to settle. Moneymaker refused to talk with WRAL on camera on the advice of his attorney.

Other Aberdeen business owners are beginning to sound off about the eyesore. Billy Forbis, the owner of a music store across the street, said he is tired of looking at the mess.

"I knew there were some insurance problems in this, but I know if it was maybe in a bigger city it surely would have been cleaned up by now. You know what I mean?" Forbis said.

Both Moneymaker and town leaders hope the lawsuit will prompt the insurance company to move on the claim.

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