Lowell finally can demolish old elementary school
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent December 14, 2012 4:40PM
Old Lowell Grade School, March 18, 2010. Post-Tribune file photo
Updated: December 17, 2012 8:26AM
LOWELL — The historic Lowell Grade School can finally come down after a last-minute appeal by the property owner to save the building from the wrecking ball failed.
Lake County Circuit Court Judge Robert Vann on Friday ruled the deed for the property, which the town acquired from the county when it went up for county commissioners’ tax sale, could be transferred to the town after property owner Maria Bodor or a representative failed to attend the hearing to appeal the move.
On Dec. 7, Bodor appeared before the court asking for the chance to appeal the transfer of the deed to the town, according to Greg Sobkowski, town attorney. She did not state a grounds for the appeal and the judge continued the hearing until Friday to give her time to present her claim.
When Bodor did not show, Vann ruled the tax deed could be assigned to the town.
“It’s finally over,” Sobkowski said.
At its last meeting the Lowell Town Council moved to hire a company to raze the building contingent on the outcome of the hearing. Sobkowski said as soon as the town receives the signed tax deed from the courts it can move forward with plans to demolish the building.
This last action by the court brings to an end about two decades of wrangling between the town and Bodor about the condition of the building and more than six years of hearings and court battles at the local, state and federal level intended to get the property owner to return the structure to a safe condition.
Tom Trulley, Lowell’s building administrator, prior to the hearing said if the town was successful the process to remove the building would move quickly starting with a meeting to plan the schedule for the demolition.
Bodor could not be reached.