Logansport City Building

Logansport received $925,000 Thursday, Oct. 23, from the state of Indiana for a blight elimination program.

The city will use those state funds to demolish blighted homes and maintain the lots, according to Mayor Ted Franklin. The city received all funds it applied for to demolish about 31 city homes.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced $12 million worth of awards for 23 counties through Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program. Logansport received the most money out of any single municipality or county in the state.

Several other local governments — including Walton, Peru and Delphi — also received grants through the program.

Franklin said all of the 31 blighted homes have a basement, so the city will have to level the home, fill in the basement with dirt and then plant grass seed. He said the city then plans to offer the lot to neighbors on either side of the homes.

"It's not our desire to hold the property, it means nothing to us, what we're trying to do is demolish some of these old run-down properties that we've dealt with for decades now," Franklin said.

Since Franklin assumed the mayor's office in 2012, he's seen approximately 40 blighted commercial sites and about 35 residential homes demolished.

Part of the $925,000, Franklin said, is for the city to mow the grass and maintain the lots of the former blighted homes for three years.

Franklin said he gives much credit of the success of the blight program in the city to Chris Armstrong, community development director, and Bill Drinkwine, building commissioner.

In addition to the blight elimination program, Franklin said the lieutenant's office awarded Logansport $350,000 for owner-occupied rehabilitation. He said state money will help about 15 owners do the basics to weatherize their homes, such as replacing roofs and windows or fixing siding.

LOCAL GRANT RECIPIENTS

Several local governments received grants through Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program.

• Logansport — $925,000

• Walton — $25,000

• Peru — $813,000

• Delphi — $68,000

• Pulaski County — $147,000

Source: Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Reach Ben Middelkamp at 574-732-5117 or ben.middelkamp@pharostribune.com

Reach Ben Middelkamp at 574-732-5117 or ben.middelkamp@pharostribune.com

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Ben Middelkamp is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He covers local education news as well as weekend events. He can be reached at ben.middelkamp@pharostribune.com or by phone at 574-732-5117.

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