Boonville Won't Fund Stein House Repairs

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BOONVILLE - Boonville City Council members voted this week against spending city funds on the rebuilding of the Stein House restaurant, a property that burned down last April.

The 66-year-old Stein House restaurant suffered major damage from the accidental fire that struck three buildings in downtown Boonville, including the Boonslick Senior Center and an insurance agency. The owners, Tim Parish and Jeff Lueck, said the business did not have insurance at the time.

City officials have been negotiating for months with Parish and Lueck over the best way to salvage the historic property. On Monday, the city council voted 5-3 to withdraw its offer to purchase the property.

City council member Noah Heaton said the council had considered spending $30,000 in city funds on the property, but that members couldn't come to an agreement in the end.

"The city is out," said Heaton.  But he said it will help with the clean-up effort.

Charlotte Harvin, a patron of the Boonslick Senior Center, said she was amazed the restaurant didn't have insurance, and didn't think it was fair for the city to spend taxpayer money to help the owners. The senior center, on the other hand, had insurance and was able to return to business after a few months.

But Harvey said the city did the best it could considering the circumstances. "The city tried to do what was best for the historical values of this part of town," said Harvey.