Co-owner of Matong’s Farmers Home Hotel, Bruce Maples, has admitted a blame game culture has seen the pub become the town’s eyesore.
“Everything is a blame game now. I’m blaming council for not fixing the road, and they’re blaming me for not doing what they want,” Mr Maples said.
“In the meantime the pub is falling down.”
Thursday this week marked the final day before a council demolition order on the Farmers Home Hotel could be stopped.
It also saw an 11th hour visit by Mr Maples and two tradesmen to install safety measures after council feared structural damage posed real safety risks.
Now December, Mr Maples again contacted The Daily Advertiser and announced he will be sending council a program of works with timeframes.
“It’s a scope of works to show we’re fair dinkum about fixing the pub,” Mr Maples said.
“Basing it on Land and Environment Court rulings in the past, we will give council a sequence of works.
“Starting with the road getting fixed to offset water damage, it will cover the veranda, the posts and underpinning the walls.
“We will get specialists from Albury to pump a foam resin underneath the building to reinforce the structure, then it’s grouting the cracks, brickworks and fixing the archway.
“It will contain stop points; we do one thing, and when it’s done, we will proceed to the next. The same with council, but it be transparent,” he said.
Mr Maples said council has been asking him for a plan but he was reluctant to do anything until the road is fixed, to stop water running into the pub.
“I’m going to ask if they can sandbag the pub ahead of this weekend’s rains, but either way the cellar will fill up with water, Mr Maples said.
“Look, we’ve just got to get past this and council needs to see that I’m willing to find a solution. If we get some dialogue happening, well, we’ll see.”
Coolamon Shire Council development manager Colby Farmer said the last thing they want is to demolish the pub.
“Nothing will happen until the council meeting on December 14,” Mr Farmer said.
“The reality is that even if council decides to go ahead with demolition, we still need to find contractors and prepare a program.
“If the worst comes, knocking the pub down wouldn’t happen until all that happens, so not until early next year,” he said.
Pub co-owner Mr Maples said he will work on the program of works over the weekend with his lawyer Adrian Daly and send it to council on Monday.