August 15, 2013

Neglect prompts East Broadway cleanup months after fire

Logansport code enforcement officer says future demolition likely.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — The rotting meat, busted out windows and overgrown lawn that remain after a fire that left an East Broadway property unlivable will be addressed by Logansport officials after determining the owner has failed to take care of the matter himself.

There are two houses at 1206 E. Broadway. The one the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety approved a cleanup for Wednesday is the one in the rear of the lot, facing the alley.

This April, the house was damaged by a fire that left it uninhabitable, said Logansport Code Enforcement Officer George Franklin, prompting him to post a sign on the property declaring it condemned.

The house is owned by Kaleb Heath of New Ross. Franklin said Heath rents out the house.

After not following through on several commitments made by Heath to address the property in the months following the fire, Franklin requested permission from the Board of Public Works and Safety, which received unanimous approval. He said he has received several complaints about the property recently.

Heath was not present at Wednesday’s board of works meeting, but had signed a certified letter requesting his appearance.

A working number for Heath could not be found.

The house’s current state includes broken windows, holes in the roof and an overgrown lawn, Franklin said.

In the last two to three weeks, a freezer in the property containing meat had been tipped over.

“A large portion of it is no longer there, but the stench is pretty bad,” Franklin said.

Board members cited this as a reason to get the property cleaned up as quickly as possible, fearing the meat has likely attracted animals.

Once all of the debris is hauled away, Franklin said a mowing crew will take care of the overgrown lawn. He said he will then make sure all of the broken windows and doors are boarded up to make the house as secure as possible.

Because of the damage to the house caused by the fire, Franklin said it would likely have to be torn down in the future, placing further strains on the city’s already strapped funds in this area.

In other news, the board also:

• Approved trash bin requests at 2231 High St., 1906 E. Market St. and 515 14th St.

• Approved a street closure on Georgian Lane in Logansport from Jamestown Drive to Lexington Road from 3:10 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 for a neighborhood watch block party.

• Approved a report presented by Logansport Police Chief Mike Clark, which states in July the department saw a total mileage of 25,637, 46 adult arrests, 73 accidents, 27 traffic citations and 54 traffic warnings.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or