City ready to close on Crawford property

After a long-drawn out process, city officials are ready to close the deal on purchasing the South Washington Street property that will become a trail head park. 

On Wednesday, the Crawfordsville Board of Public Works and Safety approved an Office of Community Rural Affairs grant in the amount $480,000 which is the purchase price for the property.

Mayor Todd Barton said the grant is possible due to the Stellar Community designation the city received two years ago. The property originally was going to be used for Fusion 54. However, when the city switched gears and purchased the downtown PNC Bank building for Fusion 54, plans for the soon-to-be acquired property changed. 

Barton said the city had to obtain two independent appraisals on the property. Due to grant requirements, the city must pay the average of the two commercial appraisals with no negotiations in price. The property at 510 S. Washington St. is owned by Crawford Food Stores.

There is no match of funds required for the city with the grant.

Barton said the plans for the lot include a park, possibly a shelter and a parking area.

The board opened up the only bid received to demolish a house at 1824 Fremont St. The bid was accepted in the amount of $3,900 to demolish the structure that had been previously deemed unsafe.

City code enforcement officer Barry Lewis received permission to have city street department employees mow more unattended yards. 

Two properties, 207 W. Jefferson St., owned by Ronda Smith and Roger Busch, and 1013 1/2 E. Pike St., owned by Carlos Garcia, will be mowed for the first time. 

Four other properties, 508 and 701 John St., owned by Sustainable Solutions, 515 S. Water St., owned by Thomas Dickerson, and 1100 W. Market St., owned by Mark Sipe, will be mowed under a continuing abatement order since those properties have already be attended to by city workers from previous board action.

In other business, the board approved:

• Two parking spaces at 116 S. Washington St. being made available for B&M Construction until July 28.

• The use of the north end of Whitlock Avenue by Montgomery County 4-H to unload swine today.