BICKNELL, Ind. (WTHI) – The city of Bicknell is spending the first few weeks of August reviewing bids for the proposed razing of three buildings badly damaged in a May 19 fire. Bicknell Fire Investigators ruled the fire as arson. The buildings, which now sit vacant, are planned for demolition by Labor Day, Mayor Jon Flickinger told News 10.
Plans were already in the works for the city to revitalize Bicknell’s Main Street.
“We may not have nothing down there, but we’re going to have a nice looking downtown,” said Flickinger. The Mayor stated that the city hopes to add green space to the 200 block of Main Street, along with a proposed Gazebo. A portrait sitting alongside the wall in the Mayor’s Office detailed the proposed changes.
City officials told News 10 the fire which burned the buildings is still under investigation. In a prior interview, fire crews explained it appeared the buildings caught fire with the help of an accelerant. The fire evacuated a senior center, and destroyed an old doctor’s office and insurance office. The Mayor noted that the insurance office would not be able to rebuild because of a land agreement with Duke Energy.
When asked if having the bids accepted and the burned buildings demolished by Labor day was a lofty goal the Mayor responded: “Well they took them over down in three days, so yeah, I think they can,” he said.
The Mayor was awaiting bids from three different companies willing to take on the demolition. A paperwork technicality forced all bidders to resubmit; at the time of this story, only one had resubmitted a bid.
“The cheapest bid was $37,000,” said Flickinger.
The buildings’ demolition will help pave the way for Bicknell’s downtown revitalization project.
“We’re even wanting to put in a green space, with a gazebo, landscaped on one of the lots across the street, from where we’re tearing down,” said Flickinger.