The effort to tear down dilapidated houses within the Knox city limits took another step forward yesterday during a special-called Board of Works meeting. Members opened three bids for the demolition of four more houses with money from a blight elimination grant from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority.
The houses at 250 W. Locust Drive, 354 Water Street, 304 Main Street and 406 Giles Court were previously approved for purchase as part of the program. Yesterday the board opened three bids for the demolition of those houses and removal of the debris.
The apparent low bid was submitted by Kewanna-based Jackson Trucking and Excavating, for a total of $26,382 for all four homes. That was considerably lower than the $42,650 from Joey Kimbrough and the $62,910 from Mark Milo Enterprises.
The board approved Jackson’s bid pending review by the grant administrator, which is anticipated today.
Knox Mayor Dennis Estok noted the demolitions have to be scheduled and can’t all be done at once. The first is done as a demonstration, with full documentation and review by the state. After they sign off on the satisfactory completion of the work, the other demolitions are scheduled.
No definite timeline was offered for the first demolition, but city officials noted it will be two weeks before utilities can be shut off at 304 Main Street. It’s also not clear which house will be torn down first.
Hebron-based Chem Check, Inc. was the successful bidder for the first four demolitions. They tore down the house at 424 Maple Drive in Parkview Heights on Tuesday. Chem Check did not submit a bid for the second phase.
Estok anticipates adding two more homes to the list before closing out the grant.