SILVER LAKE — It appears the town of Silver Lake is done waiting for a building plan to develope for the old elementary.
At the Silver Lake Town Council meeting held Wednesday, Feb. 12, town attorney Karin McGrath made an announcement regarding the old school building.
“A phone call was made today to Bruce Munson, attorney for Mike Baur,” McGrath said. “And Bruce was advised that Mike has until Feb. 21 to get a deed to the town or the town will proceed with demolition and we will go after every dollar Mr. Baur has to compensate for the cost to the town.”
Baur is the current owner of the building. On May 30, 2018, a decision regarding the status of the Silver Lake School building was made and the building was ordered to be demolished.
The school had been closed for about 10 years prior, at which time Baur expressed an interest in purchasing and renovating the building, which had been slated for demolition. Following Baur’s purchase of the property, the condition of the building has continued to deteriorate.
Last month, the recently-formed Silver Lake Center Foundation gave a presentation at the town council meeting. Members of the foundation asked that demolition efforts be put on hold in order to give them time to apply for grants and raise money via fundraisers in order to renovate the building.
Town Clerk-Treasurer Tonya Conley said she checked into grant options and found that one organization will not give a grant to a private entity. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) will do a grant for a private entity, Conley said, but the town would have to apply for the grant funding, oversee the grant and do a match.
“I’m not willing to do that,” Conley said. “ Not for a building the town doesn’t own and not for a building that the cost to renovate would be way over the cost of demolition and building a new one.”
“I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’m not okay with the idea of some third party owning the building,” Council President Chad Miner said. “Either we just need to simply demolish it or it needs to be conveyed to the town.”
The matter will be discussed further at the March meeting.
In December, representatives from RTC Fiber Communications, Rochester, announced plans for fiber optic infrastructure to be run through Silver Lake.
Chad Morgan, RTC project manager, attended the January meeting to request the use of land in Silver Lake in order to put up a building that will be used for electrical purposes and cable storage. The request was approved at that time.
At Wednesday night’s council meeting, it was agreed that the land will be under a 50-year lease contract. The building measurements are 10 x 16, roughly the size of a one-car garage, according to the RTC representative who attended Wednesday’s meeting.
It was suggested that a monthly rate of $120 be established, which the town could use as a credit. The suggestion will go through the RTC board of directors next month for approval. If approved, a representative from RTC will draw up the contract and send it to Conley.
Two property issues were discussed next. Conley said a resident in town who has an RV on her property was contacted by Area Planning. The resident said her children sometimes come to visit and spend the weekend in the RV during those times. She was told by Area Planning that she needs a permit for occupancy overflow.
“I have to write a letter to Area Planning and either tell them you’re okay with them having the permit or you’re not okay with it,” Conley told council members.
Town Marshal Jason McGlennen said at one time someone was staying in the RV for a period of about two months.
“To me if someone is living there for two months, that becomes another dwelling and you can’t have two dwellings on one property,” Conley said.
Council members discussed the matter at length, eventually agreeing that they are against approval of the permit.
Charles Cunningham requested approval to move a mobile home that is over five years old inside city limits. After some discussion, council members decided to table the issue and revisit next month.
Annita Murfin, who is married to council member Hugh Murfin, donated quilts to Silver Lake law enforcement officers to be used for children in emergency situations. Murfin said the quilts were made by members of the First Christian Church in Warsaw.
- The annual dinner and auction for the SL Fire Department will be held from 4-7 p.m. May 9.
- Four requests for water/sewer credit adjustments were approved.
- A special meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 19.
- The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 11.