Chesterton Tribune



402 Broadway declared unsafe

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The building at 402 Broadway--the old Chesterton post office and most recently home to an antique mall--has been determined to be unsafe.

At the Chesterton Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Building Commissioner Mark O’Dell reported that, following an inspection of 402 Broadway, he has deemed the structure to be unsafe pursuant to the Unsafe Building Ordinance.

O’Dell declined after the meeting to discuss the details of his finding.

The ordinance specifically defines an unsafe building in this way: as a “building or structure, or any part of a building or structure, that is (a) In an impaired structural condition that makes it unsafe to a person or property; (b) A fire hazard; (c) A hazard to public health; (d) A public nuisance; (e) Dangerous to a person or property because of a violation of a statute or ordinance concerning condition or maintenance; or (f) Vacant and not maintained in a manner that would allow human habitation, occupancy, or use under the requirements of a statute or an ordinance.”

On hearing O’Dell’s report, the council voted unanimously to declare 402 Broadway a public nuisance and to authorize him to begin the abatement process, under which O’Dell will notify the owner--George Manning--of the need, according to the ordinance, to repair, rehabilitate, demolish, or repair the building at his own expense.

O’Dell similarly declined to say after the meeting what particular remedy he intends to seek from Manning. He did say that he will be working closely with Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann in the matter.

The condition of 402 Broadway as well as of 101 Broadway--both owned by Manning--has caused the council concern in the past. In the summer of 2015 members enacted a vacant building ordinance requiring the owners of buildings found to be both vacant and in violation of the town’s unsafe building or public nuisance ordinances to register the building with the town. It’s not clear whether either 402 Broadway or 101 Broadway ever met that ordinance’s threshold for registration, or--if one or the other did meet the threshold--whether the building was ever registered under the ordinance.

In other business, members voted unanimously to renew for another five years the town’s service contract with RICOH USA, which supplies the town with printers, copiers, scanners, and other office equipment.

Town Manager Bernie Doyle recommended renewal of the contract and said that RICOH’s products and services have proved most satisfactory.



Posted 1/24/2017




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