City removes red tags from Morck

The red tags came off the Morck Hotel yesterday, after minority owner Don Sloan acting on behalf of Morck LLC manager Chester Trabucco, paid $148 to the City of Aberdeen for a belated permit to repair and replace part of the roof of the property that has become a symbol of downtown blight.

A jubilant Mayor Bill Simpson before, during and after the City Council meeting promised to keep after the Morck’s owners to submit proper permits for work performed on the building.

Bob Waite, director of building & code compliance, confirmed that Sloan, a real estate broker from Portland who is one of Trabucco’s minority partners, paid the permit fee for work on the roof. He said samples of debris tossed off the roof to the side of the building will be tested for asbestos. The city and Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency must be notified of the results.

Sloan came by The Daily World to deliver the news about the red tag removal earlier in the afternoon. The omission was unintentional, he said, and the work was a reaction to Mayor Simpson’s discussions with Trabucco about persistent leaks and the dilapidated condition of the former jewel of early 20th century Aberdeen.

Sloan, who partnered with Trabucco on the Elliot Hotel, which helped revamp downtown Astoria, says he has known Trabucco since they were 18, and been involved in several real estate deals with him. He claimed he did not think the “rubberized” material on the roof area, which he and Trabucco noted used to be a penthouse that was burned in a fire, contained any asbestos at all.

The Morck was mentioned a few times at Wednesday night council proceedings by citizens curious about the red tag and future use of the hotel which, which is scheduled to be painted in June or July, according to Trabucco and Sloan.

It will no doubt be a topic of conversation at the council workshop planned for next Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. The workshop, promulgated by the mayor at the urging of citizens concerned with the downtown corridors, is aimed at setting new, stricter and improved standards for vacant and neglected buildings.