Johnnie St. Vrain: House, barn have become Longmont landmarks

   Hi Johnnie St. Vrain: We moved to town just over a year ago and have noticed the two houses (or house/barn?) that seem to be frozen in time in the process of moving all this time. They seem to be advertising their moving company (poorly!) with signs on the structures as well. Did the mover go out of business? Did the truck get stuck in the mud? When will they be removed/torn down? What is the story? — Confused by the Move

Hi Confused: And welcome to Longmont. Our motto: “Once you stop, you’ll stay!” And that doesn’t just go for buildings on trailers.

Cattle graze near the house and barn at the center of a dispute over rental fees. (Johnie St. Vrain, Longmont Times-Call)

Seriously, the house and barn you see north of the Walmart Supercenter are the result of a disagreement between the original owner of the buildings and the owner of Powell Structure Moving.
The Times-Call last reported on this situation in July 2010, possibly before you moved to town.  The saga began in 2005, when the house and barn, owned by the Erfert family, were lifted from their foundations on the northeast corner of Colo. Highway 66 and U.S. Highway 287 and put on the girders to make way for the construction of the Supercenter.
The Erferts planned to move the structures to new foundations west of Longmont off Colo. Highway 66. However, Ivan Erfert and Mark Powell were not able to agree on charges for equipment rental. As reported back in 2010, Powell said Erfert owed him years’ worth of rent on the equipment; Erfert said he would owe Powell money if Powell finished the job.
So, claiming a right to sell the house and barn because of his lien position, Powell put for-sale signs on the structures last year. I called Powell this week to see if the situation has changed. “I’m going to sell them,” Powell said. When asked if the buildings are on the market, he replied: “Only with the signage that’s on them. I get a call every couple of weeks on them.”
I could not reach Mr. Erfert, who last year challenged Powell’s right to sell the buildings. At the time, Erfert said he had contacted a demolition company but that the company would not touch the structures so long as they were on Powell’s trailers.
When reached for the Times-Call’s last story on this situation, Wal-Mart officials said the company legally owns the buildings because they sit on Wal-Mart’s property, but that they hoped Powell and Erfert could resolve the dispute.
So, Confused, your answers are: 1) The mover is still in business; 2) the truck is not stuck in the mud, as far as we know; 3) I don’t know when and if the buildings will be moved or torn down; and 4) now you know the story.

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