Lima Council shuts down liquor, demo ordinances

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — Lima City Council denied the passing of a number of ordinances involving liquor permits and the demolition of a downtown building during its Monday night meeting.

A resolution that would reapply an objection to transfers formerly removed by the council on the liquor permits held by Derek Solomon and Bisman Investments failed again on its second reading due to abstentions by Councilors Derry Glenn and Sam McLean and a no-vote by Councilor Rebecca Kreher.

Council also failed to pass a last-minute agenda item that would allow the city to use $40,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) demolition funds to clean up the two-story collapsed brick building at 215 E. North St.

Director of Public Works Howard Elstro said the city has $105,000 earmarked for demolition of buildings, and although the building had been recognized by the city as one in need of demolition, the speed of the collapse of its roof and second floor came as a surprise. The city has closed down the alley on the west side of the building because collapse of the brick west wall is imminent.

Councilors Derry Glenn and Jamie Dixon, however, voted against the ordinance because it used CDBG moneys as the source of funding to pay for cleanup and removal of the building’s debris. Dixon said CDBG funds should be used to help low- to middle-income neighborhoods and that the city should pull demolition funds from a different source.

Glenn said the city should have pursued other options, such as additional grant funding or using a bond to pay for the cost of the demolition, and that CDBG funds need to be paying for improvements to low-income residences, especially for property owners who can’t afford necessary safety upgrades. CDBG funds are allocated at levels determined in part by an area’s poverty rate.

The city has the option of recouping some of the funds spent on demolition if the property is able to sell.

The demolition ordinance has two more chances to pass during its second reading and third reading.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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