Shelbyville Daily Union

March 21, 2014

City Council takes next steps on dangerous buildings

Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — The Shelbyville City Council continues to push for action on dilapidated buildings.

Commissioner Gib Smart told the council Monday evening that his research into the ordinance showed the steps for the city to deal with the issue. A building must be inspected and deemed a health and safety nuisance and the property owners notified and given a timeline to fix the building. If the building is not brought into compliance, a $500 a day fine would be imposed.

Targeted buildings include the Lidster Hotel on South Washington, the burned-out buildings on North Morgan, the burned home on North Second Street, and the dilapidated home on Main Street. Smart noted that there are other buildings throughout town that may also need to be considered.

City attorney Jack Kiley reported that for the past month the owner of the Lidster had said he would come to Shelbyville, look over the building and secure it. However, he has not made good on his promise and is now against the timeline that was set by the council. Kiley will file a court order on the Lidster Hotel.

Mayor Jeff Johnson reported that he has met with the owner of the building on North Morgan and that he was supposed to give the council a timeline of the work to be done. The building has sat as an eyesore since fire gutted the top floor last May.

Smart said he doubts that the owner will do anything. “He has his (insurance) settlement. He could sell the building for closing costs and keep the settlement,” Smart said. “He wants to have his cake and eat it, too.”

Lidster Hotel neighbor Christy Treadway asked the council to take action on the hotel building. She also asked what would happen if the imposed fines were not paid.

“We can get a court order to secure the building and recoup the expenses from the owner,” Kiley said.

The council noted that they could ask the State for grants to help demolish the buildings.

The council formed an inspection committee of Smart, Johnson, Police Chief Dave Tallman, and the city building inspector.

In other business, the council approved the 2014 Motor Fuel Tax program as presented by City Engineer Alan Spesard. The $160,349 will be used to seal coat roads, seal cracks, and to purchase additional salt for the winter ice and snow control.

The council also approved the CEFS Partnership Agreement and the Public Transit Program Coordination Agreement as presented by Spesard.

Commissioner Thom Schafer addressed the need for a renters’ compliance ordinance to help get and keep homes habitable. He also asked to have a discussion at the next meeting on what to do with those businesses not in compliance with the brush disposal ordinance.

Commissioner Smart commended the members of the Friends of the Sunken Garden for the work they have done.

“They have spent $42,874 on the project and are concerned about the maintenance of the project in the future,” Smart said. “They are looking for help from civic organizations. They also need a younger group of people to take an interest in the Sunken Garden.”

Smart also requested to advertise for a full-time employee for the cemetery crew.

“We need to get someone in place soon with Memorial Day and mowing season coming up,” he said.

Other council members questioned the need for a full time person if part time workers could fill the job.