Surely it is a relief to all parties that the City of Ellinwood earlier this week made the decision to accept an offer from Mark and Cassie Batchman to purchase their property at 104 N. Main, making way to complete the demolition of two blighted properties on the city’s two-block business district without risk of damaging a successful business.
Let this incident serve as an example the importance to a community to develop and enforce ordinances that will assist local governments in avoiding these issues in the first place.
History shows us that many of our small towns formed along the rail lines of 150 years ago were thrown up in a hurry in the quest to civilize the area and open the West to commerce..
Workmanship of these historic structures is unpredictable and inconsistent, so great care must be taken to maintain the structures, and if they are allowed to deteriorate, more than a cursory walk-through is needed to ensure the demolition process is sound from the get-go. Taking on the job of ridding their community of the blight was an admirable gesture.
Cities like Ellinwood, however, should not be in the business of purchasing and managing real estate of that type.There is a tendency to allow things to go in an effort to respect the rights of the one, but doing so sometimes impacts the rights of the many far too much.
Rather than turning a blind eye, it’s in everyone’s best interest to make it clear they won’t tolerate the neglect that puts our local governments in any position outside that of governing body.