Dilapidated building creates hazardous conditions

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ind. -- The community of Monterey, located along the Tippecanoe River in Pulaski County, has been living with an eyesore for the past seven years. 

The residents and the Town Council President, Doug Denton, believe the county has failed to address the problem.

Doug says that the building's falling debris is a hazard to the children who play at a nearby park, and that at any given time, the structure could collapse.

“The county government who is the governing authority on this property with the building inspector and so forth, we address the problem where we were able to get the rubble that was left from the original downfall in 2015 and get the fence put up. That would have been like said in 2016. But then after that, as you can see, that's pretty much where the process has ended, has been left abandoned, and it's become more and more of a safety issue every year since that point,” said Denton.

The building was once a well known sports bar which brought people from the community together.  But that all changed back in 2015 when the building collapsed due to water damage and neglect.

According to tax records, the property was sold within a year of the collapse to William Sturgeon, who has failed to address the safety issues himself and has been hard to get a hold of. 

“He has kind of stepped out of the picture. And I don't know if they can't locate him or whatever,” says Denton. 

When I visited the address on file for William according to county tax records, we were informed that he only lived at the location for two weeks.

William has not updated records with the state, has failed to pay his taxes, and has neglected the property. Denton believes its Pulaski county's responsibility to step in.

“But every year basically since then, our town board has sent the county a letter stating that, you know, we need to move on this, it’s deteriorating more and more every day. We've done studies on the project for asbestos and other problems turn that into the county, we've kind of taken care of that. We've gotten an estimate to have the building taken down. We've done about everything we can do short of the county condemning it and moving the project forward,” said Doug.

According to a lawyer working on behalf of the town, there are meetings upcoming and he is hopeful for progress. The potential cost for the safe removal of the property is between $130,000 to $150,000.

Residents I talked to want the county to act so they can use the space next to the park for something family-friendly.  

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