Officials are now dealing with a monetary and possibly a legal issue as the city of Logansport moves closer to taking ownership of a local historical building from the county.
Cass County commissioners passed a resolution last month authorizing a transfer of ownership of the Cass County Memorial Center on East Market Street in Logansport to the city.
The building, often referred to as the Memorial Home, was built circa 1860, according to the sign on its lot. It is rented out as an event venue. Commissioners said the building requires improvements the county cannot afford, like the leaking roof that has led to interior wall damage and the need for handicap accessibility.
Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin said the city’s interest in the building lies within a desire to not see a future owner rob it of its interior assets. Should the city take ownership, he said he would like to put stipulations in place preventing a future owner from doing just that.
Jim Brugh, a Logansport attorney, recently submitted a letter to the Pharos-Tribune’s public forum stating such a transfer of ownership isn’t permitted under Indiana Code. He writes the building was purchased as a war memorial with taxes and that the commissioners are mandated to continue to fund its “management, maintenance, repair and improvement” and that state law “prohibits any effort to prevent the levy or collection of taxes related to the memorial.”
John Hillis, attorney for the Cass County Commissioners, said he requested from Brugh all of the documents he used to base his opinion on and would be able to comment more on the matter after he receives and reviews these documents.
While the county has transferred all of the Memorial Home’s keys to the city and the city now maintains the building’s yard, the city has yet to sign any deed.