Linton may help demolish downtown building

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The City of Linton will be looking into potentially securing a grant to clear a dilapidated building on East Vincennes Street.

Mayor John Wilkes said the current owner of the Eagle’s Building on Vincennes Street, west of First Street NE.

“The state fire marshal is involved,” Mayor Wilkes told the city council last week.

Wilkes said the individual who owns it does not have the funds available to tear it down, so he came before the Board of Works to ask for help.

A bid showed it would cost between $43,000 to $48,000 to tear down the building due to the way the structure is set up. Chris Carr, who attended the meeting, said the wood would need removed by hand, then a crane would have to take down the steel beams.

Clerk-treasurer Jathan Wright noted the city annual budgets $30,000 each year for blight elimination.

“The issue is,” Wilkes noted, “if it collapses, it would come back on the city.”

He said originally, they had considered just taking on the project because it is a liability to the city, but the mayor recently learned about a possible demolition grant with a 10 percent match from the city. He has reached out to the Southern Indiana Development Commission to look into the grant and figure out what the city can do to apply for it.

Mayor Wilkes said they will not move forward on it at this time, until they can learn more about a grant.

In other business, the city voted to vacate an alley for the school.

The alley leads up to Linton Elementary. The school’s attorney, Sam Drummy, said the school has purchased lots on both sides of the alley.

Mayor Wilkes reminded residents the city will soon be full of construction activity, which will ultimately better the city.

One of the major projects this year comes after the announcement the city recently secured a $600,000 stormwater grant, which will help with the $2.8 million project to update the stormwater system.

The project will include infrastructure, ditch rehabilitation, site restoration and utility relocation in some areas.

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