The Schult Warehouse – a large, dilapidated grey building at 1830 S. Main St., Elkhart – is arguably one of the town's most prominent eyesores. Recently, city officials decided to apply for a $500,000 federal grant to help demolish the building, which would leave Elkhart paying the remaining $50,000 required for tear down and cleanup.
Despite the building's unpleasant appearance, many of The Elkhart Truth's readers were outraged at the idea of taxpayer dollars contributing to its demolition.
"We didn't build it and we didn't abandon it so why punish the community?!? I say no... Just leave it there as an eye sore then," Crystal Quick Crawford said on Facebook.
"Absolutely ridiculous! When will it stop? I'm tired of officials always trying to reach into our pockets," Becka Jiménez added on Facebook.
If the city is awarded the grant, it will take control of the property, which is currently owned by Darin Miller. Though the resolution to apply for the grant gained unanimous support from the city council, its members took time to debate the issue of blighted buildings' owners often escaping costs associated with demolition.
Overwhelmingly, The Truth's readers said Miller should have to foot the bill.
"No residents should pay for that," Alejandro Tanguma said in a Facebook comment that received 20 likes. "That's ridiculous. Whoever owns it pays for it. If the owner chose to let the building to deteriorate that their problem. They bought it it's their responsibility. They can get it up to code or pay to knock it down. Why should everyone else take the burden. I bet when that building was up and running it didn't give its profits to the community."
Several commenters said they'd rather see funds used to turn the building into something useful – apartments, a farmers market and a flea market were among the suggestions.
Do you think getting rid of the Schult Warehouse is worth the money the government will have to spend tearing it down? What do you think should be done to prevent this problem from happening again in the future?