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.
after the meeting to discuss the details of his finding.
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
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.