by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — Logansport officials and the owners of two downtown buildings are moving forward with a project that will involve two demolitions after receiving approval earlier this week on what will become an exterior wall.
The Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety authorized the demolition of 208 and 210 S. Sixth St. in August, four months after the partial collapse and partial emergency demolition of 208.
In the time since 208’s partial collapse, city officials have been working with the owners of the buildings it shares structural elements with to determine how to move forward.
The owners of the former La Rosita Restaurant at 208, Manuel and Reinalda Loeza of Lombard, Ill., did not respond to the city’s requests to cooperate, which led to the board of works and public safety’s approval to demolish the building.
Virginia Cook, owner of the vacant building at 210 that was formerly Townhouse Beauty Salon, has opted to have her building demolished as well.
Kevin Crook, owner of American Family Insurance — Kevin J. Crook Agency Inc. at 214, plans to have structural repairs done to ensure his property won’t be damaged in the demolitions of the other buildings. He and Cook will share the responsibility of refinishing the shared interior wall that will become an exterior wall after the demolition of 210.
The building at 208 has a lien of about $51,000 and a tax debt of about $54,000. An additional lien of about $30,000 will be placed on the property for the demolition, Logansport Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine said.
“As far as making someone be responsible, the only avenue we have, as any other citizen, is taking them to civil court to pursue civil action,” Drinkwine said. “Liens are one way to tie up the property to receive payment if the property is sold by the owner.”
The Logansport Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance Monday for vinyl siding on what will become an exterior wall on Crook’s insurance office that is currently a shared interior wall between his and Cook’s properties.
At a board of public works and safety meeting Wednesday, Drinkwine said a demolition permit will need to be applied for and approved before the buildings come down.
In other news, a member of the board of directors for Logan’s Landing announced a grant program the organization is continuing this year.
Logan’s Landing, a non-profit organization representing downtown Logansport, offers match grants of up to $5,000 for facade improvements on downtown businesses.
Pam Leeman, a member of the board of directors for Logan’s Landing, mentioned this at the meeting.
“We’re more than willing to help,” she said. “All we need is an application. It’s a simple process.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.