OAKTOWN — Bulldozers here will now be granted a respite, as officials have officially wrapped up with this year's state-funded blight fight.

After a brief delay while gas service was disconnected, the properties at 304 Hawk Lane and 214 N. Park St. that were slated to be razed through a $165,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority's Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program have now been demolished.

The Hawk Lane property came down last month and the North Park home was razed a couple days later.

Bicknell-based Mullins Supply, owned by Bicknell city councilman Rod Mullins, handled the demo work for $15,000.

With those demolitions done, Oaktown has now eliminated four blighted houses using BEP money.

The state requires a partner on each property that was razed through the program, town council member Randy Rinsch said, and the partners are now the owners who are responsible for the cleared lots.

The partners on the Oaktown BEP properties are individuals and most have adjoining properties to the now-empty lots.

“The partner owns that property and maintains it for a minimum of three years and then they can do with it as they want,” Rinsch said.

Another dilapidated home at 107 Wabash Ave., which Oaktown officials purchased through the county commissioners' sale for $100, has also been demolished.

Mullins Supply handled that demolition, too, for $4,500.

“As soon as I have more details, the town will be selling that property,” Rinsch said.

Rinsch also said that the root of a problem at the water wells last week that caused a brief disruption in service has been resolved.

The problem, he said, was electrical.

The morning of Feb. 27, Oaktown officials announced that there was a power issue at the wells and until it was fixed, water availability would be limited.

There was no power connected to the pump at the wells and officials asked that residents avoid using water unless it was absolutely necessary.

By later that afternoon, the water system was switched over to operate on the generator and water usage could get back to normal while workers with Moseman Water and Environmental Services from Terre Haute worked to figure things out and get the system reconnected to the main power line.

As it turned out, the main power line to the water plant had a short in it.

Everything was fixed by mid-afternoon, and the water wells were back running on power through WIN Energy REMC.

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