Monterey residents are questioning the county commissioners as to what can be done with the portion of the Sportsman’s Bar and Grill that collapsed on April 23, 2015, and was torn partially down for safety reasons.

Monterey residents want action regarding collapsed building

Numerous Monterey residents are showing their disapproval and have signed a petition that was delivered to the Pulaski County Commissioners on Monday. 
Monterey resident Tina Stacy approached the commissioners asking for them to take action in regards to the collapsed commercial building in Monterey. The county is the hearing authority and has taken action to secure the Sportsman’s Bar and Grill. 
The building collapsed on April 23, 2015, and was torn partially down for safety reasons. Since then little has been done with it because the property owner, Courtney Hardin, appears to be unreachable. 
Stacy said the building next to the collapsed portion is becoming more unstable.  
She feels that if the collapsed building happened in Winamac, it would be promptly taken care of. She understands there are legal procedures that need to be followed but “the red tape is unfair to the people who live next to that building. It’s unsafe and it’s unstable. I feel that we are being overlooked.”
County attorney Kevin Tankersley said he doesn’t understand why someone would think there is “red tape” because “there is nothing the county is doing to stop anybody from taking any action.” 
Tankersley said the county has fined the property owner but she has yet to respond to any interaction with the county. 
Stacy asked what the next step is because there were offers to have the property cleaned up but it didn’t happen. 
Doug Denton, who is a Monterey Town Councilman, said he was not at the commissioners’ meeting representing the town but as a citizen of the town. Denton said the building needs to be condemned so action can be taken. 
Denton said there is a difference in opinion as to what the Indiana code reads to condemn a building. Denton wants the property owner to be taken to court so the town has some “legal path” to do something with the property. Tankersley said suing the property owner doesn’t mean the court will order her to do something particular with her property.  
Stacy said there are people who want to clean up the property, but don’t want to be sued because they entered the property.  
Tankersley said until this meeting, he was unaware of the option to condemn the building. He said he will work with the town if that is an option.  
Commissioner Larry Brady said he appreciates the effort made by the Monterey residents. 
There were 139 names on the petition. 

See the full story in the Pulaski County Journal, available in print and e-edition.

Pulaski County Journal

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Winamac, IN 46996

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