Members of the Urban Enterprise Association on Thursday made good on an earlier promise to help a downtown restauranteur with an exterior restoration.
Terry Weisheit, the owner Pub ‘N’ Grub, 15 S. Fourth St., went back before UEA members as they met at City Hall, 201 Vigo St., again seeking help with the cost of some masonry work currently underway.
He only recently began a project to tuck point the brick exterior eatery, as was the wish of the city’s Historic Review Board a year ago. He’d sought permission from the HRB to cover the brick with metal siding, but the board denied his request, suggesting he look to a mason instead.
Per the HRB’s advice, he hired Walker Masonry in Vincennes to do the work, but when he went before the UEA seeking financial help last month, they held fast to their requirement that every applicant submit at least two estimates for the desired work.
Weisheit said he’d tried but hadn’t been able to get any other contractors to return his calls, a sentiment expressed by many appearing before the UEA in recent months.
Weisheit also expressed plans to close up some non-functioning windows — he told the board they’ve long since been drywalled over on the inside — on the building’s west side as well as a rear door, and for that work he did on Thursday bring a second estimate. He already had one for $30,000 for that specific portion of the project from Walker; he brought a second from Nelson and Sons in Linton for $15,000.
He isn’t terribly happy with either, he told UEA members, so he may keep looking.
He also had an estimate for a fresh coat of paint for just over $10,000, but it’s possible — with the tuck pointing taking longer than originally thought — that that won’t happen until spring.
In the end, Weisheit said he expects the entire project to cost upwards of $67,000.
He’s already spent, he said, $22,000; the tuck pointing is about 70%% complete.
In the end, with the fate of other masonry work and the paint job still up in the air, the UEA opted to reimburse him $10,000 for funds spent so far.
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They, too, encouraged him to come back later when he has a better idea of how much the other aspects of the job will cost — and when he’ll proceed.
The UEA only has left to spend just under $32,000 — $22,000 after the gift to Weisheit — but they will likely get another tax draw in May or June of 2023.\
“Next year, when it’s time to paint, we welcome you to come back with those estimates again,” said UEA president Aaron Bauer.
“We appreciate your investment in downtown,” added UEA member and at-large city councilman Marc McNeece. “That building has had several owners, even sat empty for a long while.
“What you’re doing now will keep it in good condition for a number of years.”
The board also this week bid farewell to Bernie Niehaus, who has served on the UEA for the last 20 years.
At the end of the year, he plans to step down; the UEA won’t meet again until Jan. 12, so Thursday marked his final meeting.
He was appointed, he said, by former Mayor Terry Mooney.
“I’ve watched several million dollars be awarded for all these great things being done in Vincennes,” he said. “And I’m especially proud of what we’ve spent improving Main Street.
“It’s been a great experience, and I thank you all,” he said.
“And we thank you,” Bauer told him. “You brought a lot of perspective over the years.”