Q Several property owners have refused to make repairs to a brick wall that was damaged by fire and now has loose bricks threatening the safety of passers-by on the sidewalk. Does the municipality have the authority to send a letter to a property owner demanding that the building be repaired for the purpose of protecting the citizens?

A Yes. Section 21-19-21 provides that a municipal governing authority has the authority to either take down and remove buildings, walls, and superstructures that are insecure or dangerous and assess the costs of the owner, or demand that the owner(s) remove or render the same secure and safe at the cost of the owner. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Burchfield, dated May 4, 2012)