The city of Independence has spent all of its nearly $192,000 budgeted in Community Development for dangerous building removal.
That money was used on 11 buildings, four of which took up more than $155,000 of that sum. The chief culprit is the pending demolition of the long-abandoned foundry building on West Hayward Avenue, which has become grossly overgrown and a consistent risk for firefighters.
Because of that, the City Council voted last week to spend the remaining $63,926 from the Council Goals Fund for FY 2017-18 for dangerous buildings demolitions to continue combating blight, as there are several more active dangerous buildings that could result in demolition. Furthermore, residential fires have, for a few years, led to a handful of houses that warrant demolition. Those average about $6,500 to $7,000 apiece.
City Manager Zach Walker said last week that the Hayward foundry will be scheduled for demolition soon after contractors complete utility kills, and that process continues.
Other allocations from the Council Goals Fund this year include: Sterling Avenue sidewalks ($50,000), IndeBus wifi ($9,000), Rockwood Golf Club acquisition ($23,238.95), mowing for the Beauty Rest Motel property, where an earlier demolition took place ($2,025) and consulting services for the Downtown Redevelopment Coordinating Committee ($50,000).
In other votes Monday and last week, the council:
• Approved three liquor licenses. One is for the Twisted Vine Winery, which will be on Winner Road in the Englewood Arts District and is owned by the owners of Top Hat Winery on the Square. 3 Trails Brewing Company was approved for its planned microbrewery at the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue (the Emporium building), and Truman Mart 1 will be a gas station and convenience store on the 11800 block of East 23rd Street, the site of a former auto services. The managing officer said the owner plans to demolish the current structure and have a new one open and running hopefully by the end of 2018.
• Approved a contract with Tennessee-based ChandlerThinks to develop a streamlined branding strategy and identity for the city. According to the city, there are more than 40 separate logos used by various departments in their marketing efforts. The contract is for $50,000.
• Approved a contract with the Wilson Group for $175,278 for the elevator project at the National Frontier Trails Museum. The city recently acquired ownership of the museum building from the state, a move approved state lawmakers months ago.