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June 18, 2014

City eyes money for demolition of 45 properties

Contractors to submit demolition bids for 45 properties

Contractors will be out observing more than 40 houses in Logansport over the next few weeks to estimate demolition costs as the city prepares to accept bids in an initiative to reduce blight in the community.

Logansport is one of many communities across the state vying for part of the $75 million available through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Blight Elimination Program. It’s funded by the Hardest Hit Fund, established in 2010 by the U.S. Treasury Department to provide mortgage relief to homeowners affected by the 2008 recession. State officials reported this winter there is enough funds to demolish about 4,000 homes.

There are currently 45 residential properties the city is seeking to demolish. Each property up for consideration in the blight elimination program is required to come with three competitive bids for demolition.

Grant applicants can receive extra points on their evaluations from the state through innovative demolition concepts brought forward by contractors that will ultimately result in a reduction in costs.

“If we have a contractor that is exclusively going to tear everything down and haul it to a landfill but then we have one offer a competitive bid plus a reduction in value for deconstructing a portion of the property, the state will likely give more pints to that contractor’s application,” Logansport Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine said.

At a public meeting Monday afternoon, Drinkwine told contractors interested in the project to keep in mind when they go out to conduct their estimations that the city does not yet own all of the properties on the demolition list and that some of them remain occupied. The city intends to purchase them at an upcoming Cass County Commissioners sale, as it did with more than 25 properties early this year. Drinkwine said he is also working with debtors about gifting their properties to the city.

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