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Corydon tackles a variety of woes

Unsafe buildings, unpaid bills and an expanding outdoor flea market were intermingling items of discussion at Monday night’s meeting of the Corydon Town Council, and action is planned for all three.
After it became apparent the burned-out husk of a building across the street from Charlie Lynch wasn’t going anywhere, his wife asked when he was going to do something about it. Lynch, a member of Corydon’s Town Council, said, ‘It takes more than just one.’
Monday night there were five.
The council voted unanimously to have town Attorney Ron Simpson draft an unsafe building ordinance, an ordinance that council president Fred Cammack said could be used to address various properties that have adversely impacted neighbors.
In addition to the charred structural remains at 320 W. Chestnut St., there was discussion of a highly-visible home at 432 S. Capitol Ave., across from the Harrison County Fairgrounds, which Cammack said has been abandoned for some time.
That property, he said, had been the subject of several complaints and past action by the council.
Simpson, using an ordinance of the City of Boonville as a model, said the law could address dilapidated buildings in a variety of ways.
The Boonville ordinance provides for shutting off utilities, vacating the premises, sealing the building, pest control, waste removal, rehabilitation and removal of the building in part or in whole.
The process would require identifying problem buildings, conducting an inspection and holding a hearing before an appointed body. The body could be the Corydon Town Council, Simpson said.
Also during the meeting, the board directed Simpson to send notice to two properties with delinquent fire protection payments and to follow up with legal action if necessary.
First Capital Hotel, formerly the Best Western, issued a draft on an account with insufficient funds for payment of its 2005 fire protection fees early this year. The $256 debt for the fire hydrant and sprinkler system at the property remains outstanding.
Cammack suggested the town disconnect water to those items if the bill continues to go unpaid. Simpson advised that the town do so through a court order if necessary so as to insulate the town from liability.
‘You’re paying for the availability of enough water to use,’ Corydon Town Council Clerk-Treasurer Jan Frederick said during an interview.
‘Any individual has, if they are within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant, a charge that says fire protection. That charge pays for availability of an adequate water supply at a fire hydrant close to your house,’ Frederick said, adding the same is true of private businesses.
The old Keller Manufacturing site, for example, paid for an eight-inch sprinkler system and five hydrants. The bills are annual and apply to the previous year.
The Restoration Bookshoppe in Corydon also has an outstanding fire protection bill for its sprinkler system. That business, Simpson said, might opt to disconnect.
But discussion of the bookstore didn’t end there. Cammack asked Simpson what sort of action might be taken to rein in an outdoor flea market held in the bookstore’s parking lot during weekends.
Cammack said he had received several complaints regarding the flea market, including that it was an eyesore and negatively impacted the business of nearby merchants.
The bookstore is on Capitol Avenue just north of the square in downtown Corydon.
Simpson and Councilman John D. Kintner said they would talk with the bookstore’s owners about the complaints.