Gary council authorizes more housing demolition
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent September 18, 2012 10:08PM
Updated: October 20, 2012 6:17AM
GARY — Residents will see more demolition citywide as more funding will be released toward it.
The Common Council at its Tuesday night meeting approved 9-0 an ordinance that amends the salary and operating budgets for the third round of its Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The increase is allowed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The city has $2.7 million through HUD via the program, Controller Celita Green told the council, of which 10 percent, or $270,000, was allotted for demolition. Because of the city’s progress, the federal agency is allowing the city to increase the amount to 30 percent, or $815,000.
So far this year, the city has demolished 73 structures citywide, Chief of Staff B.R. Lane said — 13 in the 1st District, eight in the 2nd, seven in the 3rd, 17 in the 4th, 19 in the 5th and nine in the 6th. The cost to the city for the demolition so far is $551,249.
The council also voted 9-0 to vacate the right of way of four parcels on 10th Avenue and Delaware Street as part of the Gary/Chicago International Airport runway expansion. The parcels, which were platted but not developed, will accommodate a shift in the Norfolk-Southern railroad so it can still service the Indiana Sugars on Virginia Street.
“The Norfolk-Southern wants to continue to serve Indiana Sugars, and this is a good way to do it,” said Chuck Allen, an official with Norfolk-Southern.
A second parcel south of U.S. 20 between Colfax Street and Cline Avenue was also vacated for the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. The property was once owned by the Gary Urban Enterprise Association, trust Executive Director Kris Krouse said, and will be remediated much like other trust parcels.