Fire-gutted motel and Pizza King slated to be demolished

James D. Wolf Jr., Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Ind.
·3 min read

May 4—It's almost the end for the charred remains of The Country View Inn motel and the Pizza King at 1411 U.S. 35, northwest of Logansport.

They should be torn down by early June.

The demolition comes after about two years of attempting to work with the owner, and there were a few dates considered since the Cass County Plan Commission approved demolition in March.

However, on Monday the Cass County Commissioners approved a final contract with Merritt and Son Excavating of Peru, and on Tuesday, the plan commission approved going ahead with the demolition.

Chad Merritt of Merritt and Son said his company would be on site May 27 to begin the work.

The contract for the demolition is about $30,000, slightly lowered because there isn't enough asbestos to require remediation, the Plan Commission members found out Tuesday.

It's not the county's first attempt at removing the buildings.

The plan commission originally solicited the bids for demolition for its Dec. 1 meeting but, on advice of commission attorney Jeff Stanton, declined those bids because they didn't meet state legal standards.

The property's owner, Ted Pollard of Responsible Green Real Estate Development in Indianapolis, was also at that meeting and said that his company hired a realtor specializing in commercial properties to sell it.

The plan commission members allowed Pollard time to do something with the property but also solicited new demolition bids as a back-up plan.

He agreed then to secure the property and buildings and that the buildings couldn't be reused but didn't meet the commission's conditions on sale, building demolition or improvements.

Cass County Planning Executive Director Arin Shaver Pollard had gotten some offers for the property but turned them down.

The land's valuation by Cass County was $21,800 based on the recent April 15 assessment, the same as last year's assessment.

The property has a septic system and a high volume well, Pollard had told the commission members.

It's zoned for business and has entrances on U.S. 35, which runs from Michigan City south towards Dayton, Ohio.

"It definitely has some value," Odom said in December.

The buildings caught fire on June 17, 2018, and the county first requested clean-up plans for the property in September 2018.

The fire had gutted the motel from the center, where it started, to the south end, and affected the nearby Pizza King building on the property.

In 2018, Steve Crispen, who'd been on the scene as a shift lieutenant with the Cass County Fire District and assistant chief of the New Waverly Fire Department, told the Pharos-Tribune that the fire was most intense at one of the center rooms.

Firefighters had difficulties getting through the ceiling to the flames, and the buildings couldn't be saved after the fire made part of the building cave in, he said.

District one firefighters from Royal Center arrived first and then requested assistance from Lucerne and Logansport fire departments. Because of the heat of the day and the fire —creating a heat index of at least 100 degrees — firefighters called in the Georgetown, Clymers and Twelve Mile departments.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117

Twitter @JamesDWolfJr