(La Porte, IN) - More demolition has occurred in the City of La Porte. A dilapidated house at 603 Tipton Street is the most recent structure to come down in what’s been an aggressive stance taken by Mayor Tom Dermody against such properties since elected more than a year ago.
Code Enforcement Director Jeff Batchelor said the foundation there was caving in and other problems included electrical issues and the roof. He said people were also breaking into the house to do things like get out of the cold, vandalize and party.
Officials said the city has spent a great deal of the $300,000 in federal dollars set aside for the effort but another $150,000 from Uncle Sam is expected to continue demolition in the coming months.
At today’s Board of Public Works meeting, Dermody said full efforts are made to find new homes for people before demolition occurs at properties still being lived in and gave credit to Batchelor for making sure people aren’t thrown on the streets. “I just think that’s important to know. The first thing you’re doing in going above and beyond is to find alternative housing and many times you’re working harder than the individual", Dermody stated.
In most cases, Dermody said the homes are vacant. In other cases, a favor is being done by getting people out of inhumane conditions. Batchelor also reported about 700 code enforcement violations have been given out, so far, this year.