03/23/12 It’s apparent the City of Plymouth means business.
Just months into the Operation Bright Spot campaign significant progress towards pushing properties in the city towards their full potential is evident. Mayor Mark Senter’s administration targeted certain properties around the city that had become problems and while more remains to be done, there is movement.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact we decided we had to name names,” said Senter. “A lot of the owners of these properties don’t live in Marshall County and they don’t see the change in property values they cause. Those properties need to be taken care of.”
With the help of the Health Department’s Jerry Fussell and Plymouth Building Commissioner Keith Hammons the city targeted specific problem areas to tackle and programs to institute to clean up Plymouth.
“I think we’ve made some progress at Park Jefferson obviously,” said Senter. “We were able to get the Health Department involved once the utilities were turned off and as far as I know there are no tenants still in those buildings. Now I want to have some dialog with the owners about what is going to happen from here on out. We’ve had conversations with their attorney, we have people that are interested in that property.”
Across the street from Park Jefferson significant progress has been made at the site of the old Plymouth Motel. The site of a Plymouth landmark, Mundy’s Restaurant has been renovated into a new business venture and the motel itself appears headed for the wrecking ball.
“The current owner has expressed that they have an interest in tearing that structure down themselves,” said Senter. “There has been various interest there but nothing certain. I really feel that’s a really great location for some business.”
A business already under construction that has come under the microscope is the hotel property on Michigan Street just north of Plymouth.
“We’ve had conversations with a gentleman from South Bend and he says that he’s secured a loan to get that property rolling,” said Senter. “I’m really not sure to expect but so far so good.
“All we’re really trying to do is to talk to these people and find out what the goals are for these properties and go from there whether it’s negative or positive. We went to New Haven, Indiana and saw a program they have in place for mobile home inspection and that’s going to be another prong of this. We’ve sent letters to the mobile home owners and the mobile home parks — we aren’t going to be kicking doors down or anything, it’s all above board, it’s just another part of the program.”
Rusty Nixon Correspondent