Three teens have been arrested in connection to the fire at the former Goshen Inn last Monday.
While those arrested face charges of arson and burglary, the building remains at 1375 Lincolnway East and may stay for some time.
The property’s current owners have until the end of next month to pay off some $320,000 in back taxes and penalties on the property, which was left off a county property auction in February at the city’s request. If the owners can cover those costs, they will retain control of the property.
If they can’t, however, the property will be turned over to the city.
Mayor Allan Kauffman said in the event of the city taking ownership, the process of handing control over to Goshen would likely be finalized around the beginning of next year. The Redevelopment Commission would then likely solicit requests for proposals for the property sometime after that finalization.
Kauffman explained that the Commission could either select one of the proposals or reject them. If proposals would be rejected, they could possibly demolish the building and simply try to sell the property.
But the fact remains that until all these processes are completed, the building, which has seen its share of nuisances in recent years, will still be there, leaving the building vulnerable to further issues.
“Vacant buildings just scream ‘Do something to me,’” Goshen Police Chief Wade Branson said.
Branson noted that if the city takes control of the property, the Police Department will take a look at the building to figure out a way to increase its security.
But while the property is still privately owned there isn’t much else GPD can do about the building.
“Like all abandoned and vacant properties in the city, officers routinely patrol these properties to discourage trespassing and criminal activity and officers will continue to do so,” Branson added in an email.
If Goshen does indeed take over the property, what would like to see happen?