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Commissioners Declare Courthouse Annex A Blighted Area
Updated June 19, 2013 7:15 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Rhonda Rumple, of Southern Indiana Development Commission, is seeking a grant for the county to help pay for the demolition and clearance of the courthouse annex, first diagnosed with toxic mold in December 2003.

The county is seeking a grant through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The county is requesting $275,000, which would require a $30,600 match.

The total estimated cost of the demolition and clearance is $305,600.

The commissioners Tuesday passed an ordinance declaring the building a slum or blighted area and passed a resolution securing the $30,600 grant match.

In November 2003, several county employees working within the building informed the commissioners they could no longer tolerate conditions in the dank, deteriorating site. The individuals complained of chronic illness and fatigue attributed to mold and damp conditions in the annex.

A decision was made to close the building. But razing the structure has been no meager task.

Asbestos already has been removed from the crumbling building. The radio tower next to the annex remains functional and will not be razed.

In the future Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig would like see a building built and used for a work release program at the jail.

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