BATTLE GROUND, Ind. (WLFI) — The old Days Inn property in Battle Ground is officially ready for redevelopment. Tippecanoe County helped get the abandoned building demolished. Now, it has passed final inspection and needs new life.
Excavator Ed Wall cleaned up the last bit of rubble on the property off I-65 and State Road 43.
"Concrete needs to be crushed up, taken one way, the metal needs to go another way," explained Wall.
He likes this part of the process.
"Taking what's really not worth anything turn it into something that somebody can use," said Wall "And then make it a better place."
But what does a better place look like? Commissioner Tom Murtaugh isn't sure what will go up at the old Days Inn property but he knows it will be an easy sell.
"We think there will be just tons of interest," said Murtaugh.
People who live nearby have a few suggestions.
"I personally would like to see a hospital or some kind of emergency unit there," said Rachael Runkle. "Closest one would be Monticello and then further into Lafayette. That's the perfect location off the interstate."
"That (a hospital) would be great," replied Sanjay Rebello. "Another option, I think, would be another hotel, I'm open to that."
"Some kind of commercial use," said Kevin Bol. "You may get a truck stop, just a variety of things."
All of them agree, anything is better than the old vacant Days Inn.
"It was quite an eyesore," said Rebello. "I'm glad they've gotten rid of it."
"It's all about tax revenue, you know?" said Bol. "It's not paying much in the way of real estate taxes sitting there as a piece of bare ground or even as the old vacant building. But if somebody comes in here and spends a lot of money, it's just going to increase the tax revenue."
That is why Tippecanoe County decided to pay for the demolition but Murtaugh says it was a group effort.
"This property is in the town of Battle Ground and you know the county and Battle Ground worked together to make sure that this happened," said Murtaugh.
Wall is excited about what this project means for the future.
"It's time to move on to something else so the next generation is going to have a great place here," said Wall.
The property owners will have to redeem this and pay back the demolition cost to the county. If not, then after 12 months it goes to a sheriff's sale and gets sold. Tippecanoe county will be the first to get that money.