Pulaski County is putting the finishing touches on last year’s blight elimination project. The county got a grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to tear down a dilapidated Medaryville home. As a final step, the county commissioners voted Monday to pay off property taxes and late fees.
That final amount ended up being just under $215, according to Building Department Assistant Karla Kreamer. “When we got the most recent tax bill, there was a lien that Medaryville put on it for the sewer,” she explained, “and so it was beyond the tax balance that was due when Habitat had acquired the property and we were pro-rating the taxes. So it made the current taxes due $405.41. The Town of Medaryville said that they will release the lien, but they won’t release the late fee.”
Kreamer thought the lien and property taxes were from the period when the site was under county ownership. Commissioner Kenny Becker asked whether the county is technically required to pay property taxes on its own land. But Commissioner Mike McClure moved to pay the money, to get the project over with. “Whether we have to or don’t, it’s going to cost us more than just to pay the $214,” McClure said.
Kreamer added that other than the tax issue, Housing and Community Development officials found all of the county’s documentation to be in order. But they did have some concerns with the site itself, according to Building Inspector Doug Hoover. “They didn’t like the way they left it,” he said. “It wasn’t as clean as they thought it should be, and so I’m going to go out and look at that today, too. We may have to get some dirt.” He said the county will try to make the demolition contractor fix its work, if possible.
After that, Hoover said the only thing left will be to officially close out the grant. “There’s something about this grant where you close it out and it’s done,” he explained. “And then I’m going to do back flips.”
The project faced numerous challenges, including meeting all the state’s requirements when it came to documentation, as well as apparent employee issues with the demolition contractor.