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June 14, 2013

Former Jeffersonville dry cleaner building washed away

Contaminated site to be demolished along Court Avenue

JEFFERSONVILLE — An historic building along Court Avenue will be razed.

The former dry cleaners at 119 Court Ave., which sits at the end of a strip mall containing Adrienne and Co. Bakery and Benton Fine Jewelry, will be taken down in order to clean up the site.

Jeffersonville’s Historic Commission OK’d the destruction of the property at a meeting Monday. The approval was required because the building sits within Jeffersonville’s downtown historic district.

According to online county property records, the building contains nearly 1,700-square-feet of space and the brick building was constructed in 1926.

Jeffersonville Corporation Attorney Les Merkley said the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has cited issues with the property. It is believed that the building’s grounds may be contaminated related to the use of dry cleaning chemicals on the site when a company was still located in the building.

It is apparent that the exterior of the building is also in disrepair. Boards have been placed over the side of the building where the bricks have crumbled away, but instead of being able to make repairs to the building, the recommendation was offered that it be torn down.

The demolition will not affect the adjacent businesses located on Court Avenue.

Once the site is taken down it will also need to be decontaminated. The clean-up will be done by the property owners, Merkley said.

According to county property records, the owners of the property are Carl and Ada Hibbard. Calls made to Hibbards were not returned as of press time.

Whether or not the site will be redeveloped once it is cleaned up is unknown.

“That will not be determined until the extent of the contamination is known,” Merkley said. “Obviously the city is disappointed to lose a building downtown.”

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A goat looks through the fence at Ray Lawrence Park, where they are currently used to maintain the grass along the steep basin slopes that mowers can't maneuver. The Clarksville Town Council are looking to widen the existing detention basin and reduce the steepness of the slopes to allow mowing and to increase the amount of water moved through the basin.

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