Saving Mayfield’s south side buildings on the square

A flyer was floating around Mayfield City Square promoting a grassroots meeting, inviting people to speak out.

Some folks are worried the buildings on the south side of of the square will be demolished for a vacant lot. A number of people were at the meeting, many who were familiar with how old that side of the city square is.

The majority of the buildings, with the exception of two, have stayed vacant for many months. Some stayed vacant for years. But those coordinating this grassroots effort say, whether the outcome is demolition or rehabilitation, that decision should come from the community.

Clayton Howe is the man behind the grassroots effort to save the south side buildings. “I was willing to speak up, and because of that most of the community is aware,” He says.

Howe says he’s motivated by three reasons: his neighbors’ voices, the love for his town, and his town’s history. He says if the buildings are torn down into a vacant lot, it will generate no money for the area, as well as destroy a piece of history.

Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell says the city doesn’t own the buildings, but knows how the vacancies have multiplied over the years. She says businesses that were considering relocating to Mayfield stopped considering the town because renovating the buildings would be expensive.

Rochetti-Cantrell says vacancies do nothing but deteriorate a building faster and, although her city’s history is important, it’s just as important to look forward. 

“I’m as heartbroken as anybody,” the mayor says. “But there comes a time when you have to say what’s best for the future.”

Even though Howe wants to preserve the square, he says he can’t restore it alone if his neighbors don’t step forward. 

“It’s up to the community. If the community wants to save them, they have to speak up,” Howe says.

To demolish any buildings in the city, a permit must be submitted to the city. The mayor says a demolishing permit has not been submitted.

All of the buildings, with the exception of one, are owned by one person. Clayton Mullins is a private investor. He says the nature of being an investor is to invest in buildings, properties, and land, but he says he doesn’t have plans to demolish any buildings right now.

Howe told me if he does gain the support he needs, he plans to file an injunction against any demolition that could happen on that side of the square.

The remaining two businesses on the south side of the square are leaving by June.

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