Daily Union Reporter
“Things are starting to deteriorate to the point that something needs to happen.”
That was the message stated by Chautauqua Preservation Committee chairman Wayne Gray to the Shelbyville City Council Monday evening.
Gray and committee member Noel Bolinger told the council that a section of the Chautauqua roof was falling in and a truss in the internal support system was failing. This was the assessment following a recent inspection of the building by Rev. Al Fanning.
Bolinger told the council that now is the time to decide what to do with the nearly 110-year-old building - whether to begin work on it or tear it down.
Beginning work to reinforce is estimated at $44,000. The committee has raised nearly $130,000 and is continuing to look for grants. The money raised is planned to be used as matching money for any grants awarded.
An earlier estimate of the full Phase 1 of the restoration project is $406,000. One grant possibility would pay one-third of the cost. Bolinger and Gray asked the council to help with another one-third of the cost.
“I just think this is a building worth saving. The question is can we afford to do it now?” Gray said. “It’s a piece of our heritage I think we need to invest in.”
Councilman Brent Fogleman was concerned about citizens’ support in using $150,000 from the city’s $400,000 reserves on the project.
Councilman Bill Shoaff suggested a referendum - either advisory or a bond referendum - on the spring ballot for the people to decide.
“The people of Shelbyville have done a good job raising the money. I think they want to save the Chautauqua building,” said councilman Jeff Johnson.
Bolinger and Gray agreed to present more information at the next council meeting.
In other action, the council:
- Approved the use of the East Main Street parking lot for the Chamber of Commerce trunk or treat night, Wednesday, October 31, from 4-7 p.m.
- Approved the budget of $184,499.38 for reconstruction of the downtown mini-park.
- Approved the bid from Beniach Construction Company of Tuscola in the amount of $447,264.55 for the second phase of the South Eighth Street and South Hickory Street construction.
- Approved the bid of $7,290 by Josh Wallis construction for a new metal roof on the Scout Cabin in Forest Park.
- Approved the moritorium of new mobile home permits outside of established mobile home parks. until action is taken by the Zoning Commission.
- Tabled a request by Tadd Brachbill for reserved parking spaces on North Morgan Street across from First Federal while the business undergoes expansion work.
Councilman Bill Shoaff reported that one of the city’s well will be capped and another well will be retreated at a cost of $12,000.
He also reported that the leaking roof on the Municipal Building has been resolved and that bids for the new roof on the city water plant will be received next week.
Fogleman reported that letters have been sent out to residents on West North Ninth Street regarding the storm sewer work.
City Clerk Carrie Jones announced that petitions for city council seats are available for the April election. Those seats include Public Property, Accounts and Finance, and Police Commissioner.
Shoaff shared about his trip to our sister city, Okuwa Village, Japan. He and his wife and two high school students spent a week there.
Wayne Gray announced the winner of the Chautauqua Preservation Committee Dream Vacation raffle is David Tallman.