Crumbling retaining wall in Brownsville could mean costly repairs

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BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — A crumbling retaining wall in Brownsville is being repaired, but the question remains — Who’s footing the bill? In downtown Brownsville, several building owners fear a falling retaining wall could bury them, either literally or financially. During a city board meeting last week, city leaders said $53,000 was being spent on repairing the wall, and several building owners were told they would be responsible for part of the cost. “I asked them at the meeting, ‘where are my tax dollars going if it’s not for an emergency such as this retaining wall failure?'” building owner William Mann said. His building is toward the bottom of the hill. He said if the worst happened, the building above him would cause a domino effect, destroying his own. “Whatever happens to the building up from me is going to eventually happen to mine,” Mann said. Mann said it does not make sense for building owners to pay for a city problem. The city said they own about 15 to 20 feet of the wall, and they are undergoing a survey to determine who is financially responsible for the remainder. “They’ll determine by what the property description says, and they’ll measure the footage by the legal description of the property,” Mayor Bill Rawls said. Rawls said the owner or owners will have to pay their part. Mann said it is a step in the right direction. “At that point with the surveyors perspective we can determine who should be responsible,” Mann said. The mayor said they are unsure of how long the survey will take or how much it will cost. However, repairs will start as soon as possible.

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