Five adults and three children were told to vacate the property at 1406 High St. following an emergency condemnation order.
On Wednesday, the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety approved the mandate after Building Commissioner Rob Rennewanz reported that the rental unit was found to have “extensive damage and to have unsanitary living conditions.”
Rennewanz said that fecal matter was found throughout the home on the floors and a strong odor emanated from the residence.
Along with the adults residing in the structure, Rennewanz said the children – all aged four and younger – were living among the stench, debris, and filthy mess.
Animals, including five dogs, were removed by the Cass County Humane Society.
Rennewanz was called to the scene on approximately May 26th by Cass County Dispatch after a report on the living conditions was made. During his inspection of the property, the building commissioner found the deplorable state of the house “unsafe to persons or property.”
The situation triggered a resilient response from Dep. Mayor Jacob Pomasl, who said that if “people think they can rent these places and not take care of them – it’s ridiculous.”
Owner of the property, Jeffrey T. Murray of Kokomo, informed Rennewanz that he would be boarding up the house so it could be cleaned.
Meanwhile, Murray has been provided with a list of maintenance work that should be completed, including ensuring the property is maintained in a way that does not affect health and safety or negatively impact neighboring properties. Based upon the list, the following must be finished: structure must be made secure; the roof, walls, chimney, and windows must be intact or boarded up to prevent weather infiltration or any infestation; loose building material must be properly secured; and, the lawn must be mowed with weed growth controlled.
Murray also must submit a detailed plan of action that includes cost of project and a timeframe for the work.
Rennewanz further said that all occupants have relocated to separate living arrangements.
The board approved a consulting contract between the city through its Local Public Agency (LPA) group and Fleis and VandenBrink Engineering, an engineering and architectural firm in Fort Wayne, for the design of the sidewalk project for Columbia, Fairview, and Franklin elementary schools.
The design will include Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramp upgrades.
Payment to the consulting firm shall not exceed $362,400.
As previously released, the project will be partially funded by a $976,000 Federal Highway Administration grant that Logansport was awarded in February. However, construction won’t begin until 2026 because federal 80/20 projects are awarded years in advance, according to the Mayor’s Office.
Mayor Chris Martin previously said that “we are thankful for everyone involved in putting the infrastructure in our community at the forefront.”
“It’s been great to work with city officials to make this happen,” Michele Starkey, superintendent of Logansport Community School Corporation, said after learning of the award in February. “It also speaks very highly of our community where we have lots of different entities working together on projects to make our community a better and safer place.
Keith and Cari Bean were granted permission for a noise permit request. The couple plan on hosting a party at their residence in the 2700 block of East Broadway from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 31st.
The band, Normyn Akree, will play from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cari Bean said she has notified Miller’s Merry Manor and other neighbors of the event, which will be for staff of Denver-based North Miami Community Schools, where she is a teacher. She said the celebration will bring together approximately 50 people before next school year begins.
Logansport Police Department Chief Travis Yike asked the board to accept several items for the city auction. The board agreed to sell the police department’s 1994 Chevrolet Box Truck, a 1991 Mobile Command Trailer, lightbars, 30 bicycles, gym equipment, and a Yukon Trail Puma 200.
Likewise, Tony Shanks of the Street Department, provided a 2007 International 7400 Dump Truck, hydraulic tank with electric motor and pump, a tool box, and an electric motor with pump for the event.
The City and County Surplus Auction is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at 612 Race St. Rogers Auction Service, Inc., of Royal Center, will be conducting the auction.