OAKTOWN — Officials here will soon seek bids to demolish the last two abandoned houses on their list.

Last month, town council members signed and transferred the deeds for two houses, at 304 Hawk Lane and 214 N. Park St., that are slated for demolition through a $165,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority's Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program.

With that out of the way, officials can now move forward with the bid process. They'll publish the legal notice on Nov. 10 and 17, town council president Randy Rinsch said on Tuesday, and have a pre-bid meeting Nov. 20.

Bids will be opened on Dec. 6, awarded on Dec. 18, and demolition is to be completed by Jan. 31, 2018 according to the schedule set by the state.

Once those properties come down, Oaktown will be done with this round of the BEP.

Officials had originally aimed to use the 2015 grant money to tear down 12 blighted houses, but encountered issues trying to acquire all the deeds.

The deeds for the properties on Hawk and North Park were the last two they were able to get. After they're demolished, Oaktown will have razed four blighted homes using BEP money.

Whatever grant money is left, Rinsch said last month, will go back to the state, though town officials aren't yet sure how much that will be.

The most recent blighted home demolition in town, completed by Bicknell-based Mullins Supply, owned by Bicknell city councilman Rod Mullins, cost roughly $5,000.

In other news, Rinsch said that there was a recent problem at the sewage plant.

“We were down, on and off, for two days due to someone flushing a mop head into the system in town, which required the pumps to be taken apart and cleaned,” he said.

The plant is now back up and running.

Rinsch also noted the town plans to pay somewhere around $600 to $700 to Vincennes-based ABC Septic and Drain to clean the reservoir tank at the sewage plant every six months.

He added that the variable frequency pressure drive system the council approved last month has been installed at main pumps ahead of the upcoming painting of the water tower.

The system, which cost about $3,000, is used to regulate water the pressure and will be in place permanently.

If there are any problems with the water tower down the road, Rinsch said or if it needs a pressure adjustment, this system will take care of it.

“Now we're waiting to hear back if the painting will be delayed due to the cold weather,” he said on Tuesday.

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