The Shelbyville City Council heard citizens complain about property neglect at their bi-monthly meeting Monday, July 17.

First Dannis Warf, of 210 S. Washington St., implored the council to take some sort of action on the old Lidster Hotel. Warf told the council the owner of the Lidster was a Silicon Valley Real Estate Investment Group of San Jose, Ca.

“I did talk to the chief of police and he told me that you have made a couple of attempts to contact them and had no response to those letters in regards to that property,” Warf told the council.

Warf went on to say he is aware the taxes on that property were bought by Vista Securities of Decatur. He also told the council that he was grateful that someone, and he assumed it was the city, did clean up overgrown vegetation around the property.

Warf said by that he knows there are many visitors to Shelbyville who drive down Washington Street to get a picture of the courthouse or visit the Shelby County Historical Society located across the street from the Lidster.

Warf is also concerned about trash that people have been dumping behind that location.

“The other concern is trash, household garbage dumped in the back of that property,” continued Warf. “There is broken glass back there and, just recently, a pile of tires.”

Warf said his other concern is the disrepair of that property with broken windows, open doors, and open access to the basement. He talked about the threat to curious children playing in that area. He said there might be a possibility of vagrants living in that building.

“My neighbor as well as myself have called the police department about people living in that building,” Warf said.

He is also concerned about that abandoned building bringing down property values.

Warf suggested locks be put on all entrances. He said he would really like to see that building come down but understands the difficulty of such an endeavor.

The council agreed with Warf but was not sure what the city’s options were.

Building Commissioner David Young said there are several abandon and/or neglected properties in the city that should be dealt with.

“I really don’t know which way to tell the city to go, except that we do need something in the way of property reclamation,” said Young. “The city is going to have to spearhead it by finding someway to take possession of the property, leveling it and selling it.”

Young said the city is in need of building lots. He said he has supplied a list of ten properties that should be dealt with and could create lots for building.

Next Shelby County board member Robin Robertson of 516 W. S. 10th Street, Shelbyville spoke about a neglected property across the street from his residence.

Robertson talked about properties located at 601 S. W. 10th Street and 402 W. S. 4th Street.

“Things need to happen now, there are towns around us, you read the Decatur paper, they are tearing those houses down up there, I don’t know they are getting it done but they are addressing the situation and that is what the City of Shelbyville needs to do,” said Robertson.

Robertson said the city may lose money but the city would look better and more people might be willing to settle in Shelbyville if the city could deal with this problem.

“Most of us see this city going forward and now is a good time to address this problem straight up and I am asking the city council to step up to the plate and take action,” Robertson continued.

City Attorney John Freeman talked about the legalities of the situation and tried to explain there is no easy answer to this problem.

It was finally decided to form a committee of Commissioner Joe Beck, Shelbyville Police Chief Brent Fogleman, City Attorney John Freeman and Building Commissioner David Young. That committee will talk to other towns, check existing ordinances and look for options for the city.

In other actions the City held a public hearing before the council meeting to get input about a Appropriations ordinance. Then in the actual council meeting the council approved the Appropriations ordinance.

Frost explains this ordinance simply gives the council the authority to spend money but it also sets maximum limits on each line item.

“So, in order to not spend over those limits, we set the limits high that way we don’t take a chance on over spending,” said Frost.

He explained the state requires this ordinance every year.

The council rejected a bid from Howell Paving for the South Hickory Street project. City Engineer Alan Spesard felt the bid was too high. This project will be re-bid when and if the price of oil goes down, therefore dropping the price of asphalt.

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