County to require demolition permits
Demolishing a building in Putnam County will now require property owners to obtain a $50 permit.
The Putnam County Commissioners signed the new ordinance requiring demolition permits during their Monday meeting, though they approved the move during their first March meeting two weeks earlier.
Following the split decision on March 5, County Attorney Jim Ensley drafted the new ordinance for the commissioners.
The demolition of any building valued at more than $1,500 now requires a permit.
Several people at both meetings questioned why the county needs this added layer of administration, including Commissioner Rick Woodall, who voted against the measure.
“I just don’t think we need it,” Woodall said after the first meeting.
County Councilman Larry Parker also expressed some concern, saying that planning and zoning was brought into the county in the 1990s for the express purpose of keeping unwanted businesses from coming into the county. Now Parker wonders if things have gotten out of hand, with demolition permits and new construction projects requiring five separate inspections.
County Planner Don Hatfield, who suggested the additionl of demoltion permits, explained that it provides more oversight for demolition projects. It can help ensure that buildings are sprayed down to minimize asbestos dust being released into the air. Additionally, it allows the county to ensure that wells or septic systems are capped.
In other business:
• Commissioner David Berry is hoping to improved the exterior lighting situation at the courthouse.
He said he contacted Duke Energy about the issue a year ago but wasn’t satisfied with the results.
“The quote was outrageous,” Berry said, “so I’ve talked to the commissioners about this to see if there’s anything else we can do.”
Berry is wanting to look into the issue again, in the hopes of finding something that matches the character of the antique-style street lamps throught the rest of downtown Greencastle.
“I think the lighting out there needs an extreme upgrade,” Woodall said. “So I think we should move forward with it.”
• County Highway Supervisor Mike Ricketts gave an update on county bridge project.s
Bridge 215 on Golf Course Road near Cloverdale is nearing complition. The structure of the bridge is now installed, with crews now filling in around it. The plan is to have it open by mid-April.
Once Bridge 215 is done, bridge crews will move on to Bridge 240 on County Road 800 North. Ricketts said that work should take about two months.
Another bridge will have to wait for a state project to be completed.
Bridge 15 on the Morton-Russellville Road needs a bridge deck overlay, but it is currently part of the unofficial local detour for State Road 236 for an INDOT bridge rehab job of Big Raccoon Creek.
That job is not expected to be completed until Aug. 15, so Ricketts expects county work to begin between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1.