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City of Bozeman gives brewery wall owners ultimatum

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 31 2014 10:22:53 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 31 2014 11:14:05 PM MST
City gives brewery wall owners ultimatum
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The city of Bozeman has given the owners of the historic brewery wall two weeks to make a decision about the fate of the wall.

An engineering firm determined the wall is not structurally sound, and the city said the property owners need to decide what they will do with the wall -- either tear it down, or secure it.

They explained it has become a matter of public safety, which is what prompted the city to give the property owners the ultimatum.

"When we get the engineering report that says....there are safety concerns with it, then kind of kicks in our first and foremost responsibilities as a local government...the health and safety of the community," explained City Manager Chris Kukulski.

The owner of the Lehrkind Mansion, the original house of the brewer, said he's tried to work with the the current brewery wall owners to find a solution, and he hopes they don't tear it down because of its historic value and potential.

"I think they've got a great asset here still," owner Chris Nixon explained. "Until this day, it's still standing. There's this brew craze that's going on Bozeman has one of only ten historic brewery districts in the entire country listed on the National Register. It's just inconceivable that we're not capitalizing on that with the brewing craze."

City officials hope the property owners decide to go forward with their original mixed-use development plan, but explained if they decide to demolish the wall, the city cannot stop them.