Old building could be down by June

    It's likely to be April of next year when work begins on demolishing the former city garage, an obviously elated Decatur Mayor John Schultz pointed out at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
    It was announced last Friday that the city was awarded a $400,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to raze the 116-year-old structure which sits between the police station and city swimming pool.
    The city will pay 20 percent of the estimated $500,000 demolition project cost, or approximately $103,000.
    "It's just great, great news for everyone — great news for everyone who lives in that area," Schultz said.
    The big building, which once housed the city's electric utility, was long ago deemed unsafe and a threat to young children who might get into the structure. The building has been empty since the street department moved to the onetime Baker & Schultz building on Elm St. in 2008.
    The city was denied the grant in an earlier attempt.
    According to information provided by the mayor, the project design should be completed by December and permits obtained that month. Then, in January, the city would advertise for demolition and clearance bids, receive the bids in February and awarded contracts in March.
    If all goes as planned, work would begin in April and be completed sometime in June.