Derelict Downtown Building Gets Brief Reprieve

The fate of a nearly 125-year-old deteriorated, crumbling building in downtown Crothersville will have to wait a bit longer.

Nathan Ray, the building’s owner appeared in front of the Crothersville Town Council at their regular meeting last week.

He acquired the building several years ago and said he has been overwhelmed with the amount of work it requires.

“I don’t want to be at odds with the town council,” said Ray. “But I don’t have a plan to stabilize or rehabilitate the building nor the money to do so.”

Town Council president Ardell Mitchell told Ray, “Because of the condition of the building, the deteriorated brick, cracks in the walls, we have to get involved to keep town residents safe.”

Ray said he understood and would cooperate with the council.

The council president, who works as a project manager with Harmon Construction estimated that it would cost the town around $100,000 to stabilize the building, a figure which councilmember Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson, a foreman with Force Construction, agreed.

“But even if we stabilize the building, that doesn’t guarantee anyone would purchase it, rehab the inside and open the building to business,” said Robinson.

“If we don’t do something soon, we’re going to be on the news,” said Mitchell of the seriousness of the building’s deteriorated condition.

Cost of razing the building at the corner of US 31 & Howard Street at the stoplight was estimated at $40,000.

The property was on the commissioner’s certificate sale as a result of non-payment of property taxes. On the advice of town attorney Jeff Lorenzo, the council opted to wait to learn the results of that auction before pursuing any action.

In other council business, the council approved the hiring of Nick Marshall as a new patrolman for the town of Crothersville. He replaces Sgt. Kelly Barger who resigned to accept a position with the Jeffersonville Police Department.

Marshall is a 2004 graduate of Crothersville High School and has served as a reserve office with the local department. He will be paid $10.50 an hour which will increase to $11 an hour when he successfully completes the 15-week Indiana State Police Academy.

Sherry Bridges, director of the Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival asked the board to close streets for this year’s 40th annual community celebration. The traditional streets of Preston from Oak to Main and Howard from Preston to Jackson were approved for closure.

This year’s festival will be June 11-13 and feature a fireworks display on Saturday.

The council also gave the festival committee permission to close East and Bard Streets to through traffic on Saturday for the festival’s traditional parade which steps off at 4 p.m.