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We are beginning to feel almost as bad for the folks from CVS who are building a new pharmacy in Shelbyville as we do for every member of our community and certainly any visitors who pass by its location at the corner of U.S. 60 and KY 55.
That’s because right there next to this fast-moving new commercial property remains the decaying, depressing and long-condemned bricks and mortar that once were the Wesley Apartments.
Long vacant and long a danger, they have been allowed to remain erect and completely visible at an important intersection while the adjacent parcel has been sold, rezoned and, now, developed for some spiffy new enterprises with brand new bricks and mortar.
Ironically, bulldozers and loaders every day channel drainage and improve the property to environmental standards, moving tons of dirt and rock to improve the function and visible vitality of the parcel.
And every day we wish they would pivot and roll a few yards to the north for a few hours and give their undivided attention to dividing and conquering those abscessed apartments.
We only can imagine what the owners of Shelbyville Chrysler must feel, having been situated right next door as the buildings went from homes to the hapless to rodent-attracting remnants.
This eyesore – right there in an important introduction to our centerpiece city – simply has to vanish, and we’ve been far too patient in waiting for this to happen.
First, we argued that the construction of CVS should not have begun – the approvals and zoning changes from the city of Shelbyville not been granted – without these former apartments having first been razed.
Second, we listened with patience as the property’s owner – Todd Clark – said the buildings soon would be torn down but that issues with a contractor and asbestos were impeding wrecking balls. That was more than six weeks ago after more than three years of waiting.
We are out of patience, and we want action.
If we were the owners of CVS, we would be on the phone daily with the owners, with Shelbyville Code Enforcement, with the mayor’s office, with Triple S Planning Commission, demanding that these buildings be gone. We would have our lawyers elbows deep in research to see how we might be able to force this action. We would consider doing this ourselves and suing for reimbursement.
We know Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty wants these buildings gone. We know his city council is just as eager to see the land cleared. And we believe there must be some way to enforce this action.
The city is aggressive in repairing sidewalks and billing property owners. The city council recently passed an ordinance that would allow the city to mow grass and send the bills as well.
We vote for the city to send over its dozers and dump trucks to knock down those things and send that bill to Mr. Clark.
The only way it seems to ensure action is to take action ourselves.
We are the taxpayers. We want this land cleared. Our waiting period has been reasonable.
Who among us will lift the first shovel to ensure action?