The fate of the Lincoln Place building is all but sealed. The city has approved a measure to tear it down now that the city has received an insurance settlement. Wellington Public Works Director Jeremy Jones said city staff has a verbal agreement in place with the company that will be hired to do the demolition. They are putting the finishing touches on getting ready and very soon a contract will be signed, he said.
The council approved the measure at the last meeting.
For many months the general consensus of the city council has been to tear the building down. The price tag for demolition is $329,000, but refurbishing it would be much more than that, according to estimates.
Council member Kip Etter is one who wants to find out if there are some other options and if it can be salvaged. He wants to take a little more time to investigate.
The city is getting $285,900 in the insurance settlement, and getting that money has been a holdup in the process.
For months, the city of Wellington has waited to get an insurance settlement. Since July of 2016 the building and the street beside it have been closed.
The previous owners, Richard and Jan Spevak, gave the building to the city and that included turning over the insurance money. This was after a year ago, when they closed the building, and the city closed the street beside it in July of 2016.
Could the city use that money to restore the building in some way?
It may not be enough, Etter said, but if that money could be used in some way it could possibly be done. The insurance money could be looked at as a grant to help with fixing the building. If you could get a developer to take it over, for example, and they put in some of their own money, it might be feasible to save the building.
Jones said that is possible, but he thinks it might take as much as $1 million to restore the building. He said no one has stepped forward as of yet to take on the project.
He said no one at the city wants to destroy a historic building, and they wish it could be saved. He feels the safety of the public is the top priority in this case and that has been the general feeling of the council for several months.
(Read more: Sumner NewsCow)