By Gary Budzak
Tonight, Delaware City Council may decide the fate of the Elks Building and discuss where a dog park will be established.
Early in the meeting, the ordinance on the Elks Building is going to a fifth reading. Generally, legislation is decided in three readings.
The Delaware County Commissioners are seeking the demolition of the Elks Building at 110 North Sandusky Street, which it owns, in order to build a new courthouse. However, the City’s Historic Preservation Commission blocked the move, and the Commissioners are waiting to see if Council will overrule their decision.
At its last meeting on July 28, Council heard a presentation from Steve Kenat of GBBN Architects in Cincinnati. He showed the county’s master plan for the area. Kenat said that although he believed in historic preservation of buildings, the Elks “has given all it has to give” and even if it were to be extensively renovated, it wouldn’t meet the needs of a modern courthouse.
Delaware Magistrate David Hejmanowski said that if the Elks wasn’t demolished, the entire court operation could move out of the city, including the several attorneys whose offices are downtown.
Several members of the public defended the Elks building, citing its historical value and the possibility of “demolition by neglect.”
Near the end of the meeting, Council will have a discussion on a proposed Dog Park. At its last meeting, Peggy Guenther told Council that the park should be put in Blue Limestone Park, which was the findings of board established to evaluate locations throughout the city. Some council members said they hadn’t had enough time to make a decision, but Councilwoman Lisa Keller said there should be a discussion on the matter.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. August 11 in City Council Chambers, 1 South Sandusky Street.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.