Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Council Halts Stadium Razing ; Denies Mayor's Request on Demolition Fund

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Council Halts Stadium Razing ; Denies Mayor's Request on Demolition Fund

Article excerpt

Plans to raze Roberts Stadium and turn the property into an expansive new park with skating and dog facilities took a detour at Monday's Evansville City Council meeting. The council denied a request from Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's administration to transfer $187,000 in net proceeds from the auction of Roberts assets into an account for demolition.

Councilman Dan Adams moved to reject the transfer and was joined by Council President Connie Robinson, Finance Chair John Friend, Missy Mosby, Stephanie-Brinkerhoff-Riley and Al Lindsey. Dan McGinn, Conor O'Daniel and Jonathan Weaver voted against the motion.

Adams, an at-large Democrat, said he wants the city to attempt to sell the property.

"My motivation is to get money out of it. I don't think there's been an honest try," Adams said.

The lowest demolition bid received by the Evansville Parks Board was $958,000, from Klenck Co. of Evansville.

In addition to the $187,000 in auction proceeds, the city placed $200,000 in this year's budget for the demolition. Winnecke's proposed 2013 budget, which is due for a City Council vote Oct. 22 with a final review Oct. 15, includes $500,000 which Winnecke says is to go toward demolition.

Department of Parks and Administration Director Denise Johnson and City-County Building Authority General Manager David Rector said the final demolition cost remains a "moving target" and the current $958,000 figure could come down.

Rector told City Council of an offer to remove the parking lot asphalt surrounding the Roberts building for free.

The Evansville Board of Park Commissioners, which is in unanimous support of Winnecke's park plan, has set a May 1 deadline to complete demolition and refilling the land.

Johnson said the longer Roberts remains in place, the more it is costing taxpayers. She cited a monthly bill of $20,000 to $25,000 to pay utilities and secure the unused building. …

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