Friday, June 11th, 2010
Company to raze former jail
By Shelley Grieshop
A Lima company will be at the helm when the former jail in Celina is torn down starting next month.
Hume Supply was awarded the contract Thursday after submitting a bid of $27,792 to demolish the building. The company's bid was the lowest of seven that were opened by commissioners a week ago.
The highest bid was $73,173 from Martin Enterprises of Fort Wayne, Ind.
County commissioners were thrilled when all bids were less than the $81,500 in grant money available to do the job. The county received the funds through the Community Development Block Grant/Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The money left from the grant will be returned to the program.
The NSP provides funding to help communities improve neighborhoods by purchasing and redeveloping abandoned and foreclosed properties and demolishing blighted structures.
The demolition qualified for the grant because the building's worth is considered as "salvage value only," Mercer County Economic Development Director Jared Ebbing said.
The former jail was vacated in February after inmates were transported to the new, 110-bed facility along state Route 29 west of Celina.
The jail must be razed by the end of October, according to terms of the agreement. Commissioners plan to pave the property for courthouse employee parking. Approximately 50 spaces are expected to be created, enough to accommodate most of the workers.
Ebbing is seeking funding to complete the parking lot project, he said.
Commissioners also planned to sell the vacant sheriff's office building next door and have the owner move it to create more parking spaces. However, no one bid on the two-story building and the county has been unable to secure funding to tear it down.
Commissioner Jerry Laffin recently said the former sheriff's building likely will get an upgrade and be used for storage or another purpose.