Wingfield said a contract could be awarded as soon as late February or early March to relocate the homes. And if funding remains, Waiz said he hopes to use some money to rehabilitate the homes inside and out.
Once the structures have been moved, the city will have only a few options. Restrictions in the settlement agreement require Jeffersonville to hold on to the homes for 10 years or be forced to reimburse the fund the money used to relocate the homes.
Waiz said the city could possibly rent the homes to individuals or businesses once they have been moved.
“It would be a very nice redevelopment project,” he said.
But Greg Sekula, director of the Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office said his organization is still investigating if the city would have to hold onto the properties for that time period once they are relocated.
“I do think that 10 year requirement would be problematic,” he said.
Sekula offered as a solution that if the city and Indiana landmarks could relocate and renovate the exterior of the structures, they could try and sell them to preservation-minded buyers to rehabilitate the interiors. The money received, if the properties could be sold in shorter period of time, could go back to the grant like in a revolving-loan fund and be used for other worthy projects.
As part of the plan to redevelop the two-block area at the foot of the Big Four Bridge, the city of Jeffersonville had planned to tear down several homes on Pearl Street, between Maple and Market streets.
Sekula asked the city to halt the demolition of the homes in the Big Four Station project area last fall.
While the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission pledged $50,000 to move the former Reuben Wells home, a $10,000 offer by Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore to assist in the relocation of any of the other homes slated to be torn down saw no one come forward.