Pulaski County Council Approves Budget Transfer for Unexpected Blight Elimination Project Costs

The demolition of a Medaryville home as part of a blight elimination project continues to create headaches for Pulaski County Building Inspector Doug Hoover, a year after the house was torn down. “Everything was done, completed,” he told the county council Monday. “[Building Department Assistant] Karla [Kreamer] and I did everything we were supposed to do. About a week before the last date, the state comes in and says they wanted it cleaned up. It wasn’t to their specs. Six months I waited. They could have told me six months ago. Now I had to jump through hoops.”

Hoover said the state was threatening to charge a $15,000 fine if the concerns weren’t taken care of within the span of a few days. He said he ended up hiring DeSabatine Brothers Excavating at a cost of $4,000. “I’m going to give him credit because we’re doing this Thanksgiving Day, guys,” Hoover said. “Thanksgiving Day! Raining, snowing, everything.”

Council members agreed to transfer a total of $4,000 out of money budgeted for travel and seminars to cover the cost.

The project began more than a year-and-a-half ago, when the county received a blight elimination grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. But it’s faced numerous challenges since then, including meeting all the state’s requirements when it came to documentation, as well as apparent employee issues with the demolition contractor.

Also during Monday’s meeting, council members approved the transfer of $2,100, to help cover pay for Building Department Assistant Karla Kreamer. “The reason why the extra money on that, guys, is we had the wind power,” Hoover explained. “We had a lot of meetings, late meetings, 11 o’clock, 10 o’clock, sometimes a little less than that. We had a lot more variances, that kind of stuff.”

Council members also agreed to transfer $100, to cover Hoover’s one-percent pay-raise, as part of a county-wide salary increase.