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January 6, 2013

Home demolitions running smoothly

Streets department may help with future tear-downs.

LOGANSPORT — The demolition of condemned homes in Logansport is going smoothly, according to city officials.

Ten properties were ordered to be demolished by the Board of Works in December due to their unsafe structures. Though there have been a few complaints about the demolitions, city officials say they have heard more positives than negatives from neighbors.

The properties range from General Street to Wright Street and include buildings that had been vacant for several years, some of which were driving drug traffic, according to Bill Drinkwine, Logansport’s building commissioner.

Before the homes are demolished, Dan Williams, superintendent of the streets department, said the streets department puts up barricades around the home and then does an inspection of the site.

They also urge neighbors to take precautions to ensure their homes won’t be damaged as the buildings come down.

“We’ll make sure they put plywood up,” Williams said.

The neighbors are allowed to be in their homes during demolition to surrounding residences, Williams said.

Despite one small mishap with a neighbor’s garage roof, Williams said he had not received any complaints from neighbors. He said he has been out watching the beginnings of some of the demolitions.

“I’ve watched a number of times and they’re doing a tremendous job,” Williams said.  

So far the streets department has been out to seven homes, he said.

Drinkwine said he has heard from appreciative neighbors on Seventh, North and Bates streets.

“It’s been going very well,” Drinkwine said.

He said he had talked to prospective buyers about the properties but they had not yet made any selections.

Drinkwine added that “it’s likely” that a new list of homes will be up for demolition soon.

As more homes are scheduled to be demolished, Williams said the streets department may go out to help demolish small homes.

The streets department helped demolish a home this past summer on Spear Street, Williams said.

Currently, the city has hired two contractors to demolish the homes.

Drinkwine said the ten properties ordered to be demolished should be finished by the end of the week.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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