Works Board slates Main Street property for demolition

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Time has run out for a dilapidated home on Linton's Main Street, with the city's Board of Public Works agreeing to push ahead with demolition plans.

Now, the property, which has drawn criticism for several months as a public health hazard strewn with trash, weeds and human and animal waste, could come down within the next two months.

When Linton City Police investigated the 609 N. Main St. property of Ricky Bunch Sr. June 27, they found a building overgrown with weeds, infested by rodents, and strewn with human and animal waste.

"In their words, they said it looked like a toilet had exploded," said City Councilwoman Linda Bedwell.

Bedwell listed a litany of problems found by her husband, the city's Building Inspector Bill Bedwell. Among these were broken foundations, sagging supports, boarded up windows and junk in the yard.

Bunch, who spent six months in prison before being released in August, pleaded with the Works Board to allow him more time to clear the property.

"It's where I live when I'm not in the nursing home," he said. "It's all I've got."

After spending six months in the Greene County Correctional Facility, Bunch said he returned home only to face health problems Oct. 30 which led to a stay at Glenburn Nursing Home.

He said he'd relied on neighbors and friends to clear the land, but had found they didn't do as promised.

Wilkes questioned how long it had been since Bunch resided in the Main Street residence.

"I don't know," Bunch replied. "Four or five months?"

However, only moments later, Linton City Council President Tony Richards, who also serves on the Works Board, seemingly received a contradictory answer from Bunch.

"I've been there off and on over the last two months," Bunch said.

Richards noted the discrepancy, as did Wilkes.

"From what I've been told, there is no way that house is even livable," Wilkes told Bunch.

"You said you hadn't been living there, and I've seen you out there, walking up and down the street, or riding your motorcycle around," Richards observed.

He then moved the city proceed with tearing the home down. Richards also moved the city impose a $600 fee for costs of legal work, and potentially add to that cost up to $5,000 for the expenses of tearing the building down and cleaning up the property.

Works Board attorney Luke Rudisil told Bunch he could collect his property from the run-down home before it was demolished, adding the city works board would provide him notice before accepting bids on the tear-down.

The effort had already been delayed when the board sought to determine whether Bunch or his similarly named son owned the land.

"There was a question whether the property owner was Ricky Bunch Sr. or Ricky Bunch Jr.," the attorney added. The elder Bunch confirmed Monday he is the owner, and the record shows he was reached by certified mail and had responded with a letter seeking additional time.

However, he said Monday he did not recall sending that letter, nor being served.

"Since I've been sick, my memory's not been as good," he said.

Bedwell has listed the Main Street property as among her top priorities on a list of dilapidated properties not only because it's an eyesore, she's said, but also because it's on one of the most-travelled city streets. "What am I going to do when I'm not in the nursing home?" asked Bunch. "It's all I've got."

The home will be torn down, Wilkes replied.

"The decision has been made," the mayor said. "And it is final."

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  • Maybe Mr. Bunch could be assisted in applying for one of the city's new apartment/duplex low income housing. We have several now! I say the city should help him fill out the paperwork since they are removing his only hope of not living the rest of his life in a Nursing Facility. May I suggest Mr. Bunch you contact our local area agency on aging, Generations, at 812-888-5880 and see what they can assist you with. Possibly they can get you some in home services so you do not have to live in the Nursing Facility. You can also dial 211, an informational helpline for our community.

    -- Posted by thrift store junkie on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 8:33 AM
  • Thank you Thrift Store Junkie for your suggestions.

    I understand the neccesity of the cities' actions,but,to not offer help to this man is disgraceful on the cities part,when he clearly states,"Its' all I've got."..Who would offer any help if it were anyone on the board loosing their home,no matter what shape its' in?..Having been in ill health for some time,I would hate to be booted out of my home,no matter what the condition,if it was all I had.Even hoarders get help.

    I'm sorry,but,the city of Linton has egg on its' face with this one.Please help this man with putting a roof over his head before there is another homeless man on the streets.

    -- Posted by gravytrain on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 10:33 AM
  • Considering he has several different properties around the city....its not all he's got. Give it time and the city will be on top of those !! Its about time, that place is an eyesore !! Congrats to the city for moving forward !!

    -- Posted by reality_check on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 12:51 PM
  • I know there are always two sides to every story. I am sorry that someone is potentially losing their home. However, there are many people who have offered to help with the Main street property dating back to Tom Jones early mayoral years. Each time, help was refused and no assistance was accepted. I know many citizens that would be glad to help Mr. Bunch with making housing arrangements that are safe living conditions for him. I thank the City of Linton for taking the very lengthy process of making sure that condemned properties in our community are dealt appropriately legally. This is not a situation that has been a rushed process. The property owners have been given year after year of notices to clean up the property. Various extensions have been granted in order to comply with the legalities entailed in this process. I encourage us all to pray for the situation.

    -- Posted by lintonpatriot on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 6:10 PM
  • Will Mr. Bunch still own the lot after the property has been razed?

    -- Posted by ajames4 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 2:50 PM
  • What about the property on South Main Street just after you cross the tracks--second house on the right?? It has the roof falling in, trash strung all over the yard, and looks horrible. It's in worse shape than the house that is slated to be demolished on North Main Street.

    -- Posted by LintonMom0002 on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 4:00 PM
  • And guess who own that one too? From what I have been told! Anyone see a pattern?

    -- Posted by fatty66 on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 11:42 AM
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