Columbus opens bids for demolition under blight-elimination program

City plans to tear down 3 more homes

The city of Columbus plans to tear down three homes under its blight-elimination program.

The homes targeted for demolition are located at 834 Warner St., 824 Eighth St. and 1313 Ninth St. The Columbus Board of Works on Tuesday opened bids from four companies interested in demolishing the properties on behalf of the city. The bids were taken under advisement by the board.

The city plans to use funding administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to pay for demolition, which is expected to occur in the next several months, said Robin Hilber, community development programs coordinator for the city.

The city originally had received $750,000 in federal grant funding and was required to spend all of the money by last year. When that didn’t occur, the city’s funding was cut in half to $350,000 after being granted an extension, Hilber said. Those funds will allow the city to tear down 12 houses, she said.

Six properties already have been acquired and demolished through the blight-elimination program — located at 2020 Sixth St., 1468 Union St., 1462 California St., 506 Smith St., 48 S. Hinman St. and 300 S. Beatty St.

In most cases, homeowners got in touch with the city after hearing about the blight-elimination program, Hilber said. The grant pays for demolition of the homes and also gives homeowners money if they agree to have a structure torn down, she said.

“If it’s unsafe, we will condemn it at the owner’s expense,” Hilber said.

When blighted homes are razed, it helps remove eyesores from Columbus neighborhoods, where properties can be redeveloped with new structures, she said.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com