List of demands being sent to downtown property owner



The owner of a building in downtown Crothersville told the town council he would make it appealing to passersby.

The town had two buildings next to Ashley Foundry torn down and the rubble cleared. That left the north side of Hubert Ashley Jr.’s property exposed, which shows brick that’s partially covered, a red-painted wall and a raised roof.

During a special meeting Thursday night, the town council agreed that is not visually appealing to people driving along Armstrong Street or U.S. 31.

Town attorney Jeff Lorenzo suggested the town form a committee to look at what has been done to the property, make a list of demands for Ashley to meet and have him sign it. Then Ashley would be given a certain amount of time to make the improvements.

Since he has worked in construction most of his life, Councilman Lenvel “Butch” Robinson agreed to compile the list and then have Lorenzo put it in letter form and mail to Ashley.

“I don’t think he’ll like my list, but it’s going to be true,” Robinson said of Ashley.

“It just needs to be comprehensive so that he understands what it is that he’s supposed to be doing,” Lorenzo said.

Robinson said if the property doesn’t become appealing, there will be a $35,000 lien against Ashley’s property at 125 S. Armstrong St. That was the cost for Albertson Excavating of Scottsburg to tear down the buildings at 117 and 119 S. Armstrong St.

In June, the town and Ashley agreed on a purchase of the properties for $1. After meeting to discuss what would be taken down, however, there was miscommunication on what portion Ashley wanted to keep.

During a council meeting July 2, the members rescinded their vote and discussed a new plan with Ashley and his son, Bobby.

The council told the Ashleys they were going to remove the unsafe portion of the buildings at 117 and 119 S. Armstrong St. Then after those come down, the town and the Ashleys would meet to form a list of repairs that would need to be made to 125 S. Armstrong St., which houses Ashley Foundry.

If the Ashleys would make the repairs or show that they are making reasonable attempts to make the repairs, the town would purchase the property where the buildings have been removed for $1, and the town would be responsible for the $35,000.

Council President Danieta Foster said the improvements need to be made as soon as possible because the roofs on Ashley’s buildings are not in good shape.

Robinson agreed.

“It appears to me like he needs to remove both roofs and attach a new roof,” he said. “Both roofs have fallen in, and they are getting worse by the day. If we happen to have a fierce wind, we would have to worry about the top roof. It would be gone.”

The exposed roof is held up by 2-by-4s.

“I don’t know who in the world built that, but they don’t know what they were doing,” Robinson said.

“I think we tell them that that has to be down very quickly and then give them more time on the rest of it, but that has to be done immediately,” Foster said.

Robinson said the lower roof on the foundry building is below the top of the blocks.

“You can see a tar line where the roof line used to be. It’s probably 5 feet down from that,” he said. “By (the buildings) coming down, it’s getting pressure on the concrete block wall, and you can see the stair-step cracking the blocks. It’s coming out.”

Bricks also have fallen off of Ashley’s building from where the two buildings were demolished.

“So they are not going to have any wall to support a roof,” Robinson said.

If the town winds up purchasing the properties where the buildings were demolished, it will discuss options of what to place there. A public area, a parking lot and several other things have been discussed by people in town.

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