QUESTION: There is a building that once was a travel agency at the corner of Tyler Street and Center Street. Some of the bricks are falling off the building. Part of the sidewalk is torn up and barricaded. What is going on there? When will it be fixed?

ANSWER: I don’t have a specific date for when it’s going to be fixed, but I’ll say the building’s owner is working to find a solution to the building’s problems and the city of Longview is monitoring the situation.

The Mounsour Family Limited Partnership has owned the building since 2017, according to Gregg Appraisal District records, and local attorney Doug Monsour said he is waiting to hear a report back regarding the structure’s issues from local builder Scott Hamilton. (He hired Hamilton to coordinate the engineering study on the buiilding.)

Development Services Director Michael Shirley said that would determine the scope of the project that needs to happen there.

“There’s some damage to that building,” Shirley said.

The city has been communicating with Hamilton since this past year.

The city had noticed some bricks falling off, and the building started to transition from being an eyesore to a nuisance. That’s when the owners tore up some of the sidewalk to start exploratory work with an engineer about how to repair the building. Shirley explained that buildings downtown have a unique construction, and the owners are trying to preserve as much of the original building as possible.

The city had the owners put up the barricade on the sidewalk.

“The engineer went out in early December to do his on-the-ground assessment,” Shirley said, and city officials are expecting the engineer’s report any day now.

“We know this is a prominent location that we want to see something moving on pretty quickly,” Shirley said.

While there was a gap in movement on the project, activity is picking back up, Shirley said, and as long as there’s progress the city will provide “administrative oversight” but not tag the building or issue some kind of violation.

“They’re not stalling” Shirley said. “It’s just unfortunate the type of project it is.”

Q: Will street lights be installed once the High Street bridge repair is completed?

A: TxDOT spokesman Jeff Williford said the bridge replacement will not include street lights.

You should see work starting on this bridge replacement project this week, with traffic being directed to one lane on Wednesday or Thursday.

Q: I’ve noticed trucks coming and going at the old Rexam building on Fisher Road. That building has been vacant for years. What’s going on?

A: Dollar General, which operates a distribution center in Longview, is leasing short-term storage space there on Fisher Road, a company representative said.

LEDCO Executive Director and CEO Wayne Mansfield said some seasonal merchandise had arrived later then usual because of supply chain issues.

— Answer Line appears Wednesday and in the Weekend edition. Email questions to, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She’s a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.