In a letter to the citizens of Pilot Grove, Mayor Dennis L. Knipp outlined a project that would benefit local property owners wanting to tear down derelict properties without covering the entire cost. According to this plan, the owner would cover $300 of the cost while the city would cover $1,000. The rest of the cost would be covered by a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

In a letter to the citizens of Pilot Grove, Mayor Dennis L. Knipp outlined a project that would benefit local property owners wanting to tear down derelict properties without covering the entire cost. According to this plan, the owner would cover $300 of the cost while the city would cover $1,000. The rest of the cost would be covered by a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
“An arm of the Dept. of Natural Resources, specifically CDBG, is making available to qualifying towns, grant money for the demolition of certain dangerous residential buildings, as defined by our Code of Ordinances. This is a voluntary program, meaning there will not be the necessity of incurring time and legal costs by condemning the dangerous properties by court action. The only requirements are that the structures must have been vacant for at least a year and the deed to the property must be clean of any debt or encumbrances. If this grant is awarded, the cost of demolition to the owner would be no more than $300 per building, with the city incurring a cost of $1,000 each,” a letter from Knipp stated.
Knipp stated several property owners have already committed for this demolition project. He also stated that the city needs more properties to qualify for the grant.
One Pilot Grove resident is not happy about the city subsidizing the cost of demolition.
“I would argue that money collected by the City should be spent on water, sewer, roads, parks, and running City Hall. To spend money for the exclusive benefit of a handful of property owners seems incredibly wrong to my mind. Why should you be forced to cover the costs of cleaning up your neighbors property?” Pilot Grove resident Joe Knipp stated.
Chris Streck thinks this program will increase property values.
“I am for anything that helps improve the city. Many lots and buildings have been in a stalemate, which the city cannot police,” Streck said.
He added this is something the city can assist with in trying to make it more enticing to bring in more higher cost houses in town, which could increase property values.
A public meeting is being held tonight at the Pilot Grove City Hall at 6:30 p.m. before the regular meeting.