CLARKSVILLE, IN (June 10, 2022) – The recent vote by the Clarksville Town Council on a resolution to use eminent domain in an effort to acquire the historic Colgate property has caused some confusion among the public. This has led to rumors and misinformation about the Town of Clarksville’s main goal in the process. In order to try and clear things up, Clarksville Town Council President Ryan Ramsey met with the media Friday morning to address those rumors.
“Contrary to statements about the Towns intentions for the former Colgate property, the action taken by the Council is a first step in preserving the buildings on the property, ” said Ramsey. “The use of eminent domain is a tool the Town has chosen to get control of the property. It does not mean we are condemning the property and planning to demolish it.
The Clarksville Historical Preservation Commission passed a resolution in September 2021 expressing their concern for the future of the historical significant property and requested the Town Council utilize its authority to take the necessary action to gain control of the property to initiate preservation of the property and reverse the current state of decay the buildings have fallen into. Ramsey says this is an important issue for the entire Town Council, which is exactly why Councilmembers Jennifer Voignier (At-Large), Karen Henderson (At-Large), and Mike Mustain (District 4) all attended the media event to show their support.
“The residents of Clarksville deserve better than what we have been getting over the last 11 years,” said Ramsey. “We are anxious and look forward to the day when the clock is working, and lit, and that those buildings are properly preserved.”
As for the next steps, Clarksville’s Attorney Greg Fifer laid out the various legal steps that will have to happen before the Town could possibly acquire the property. That process can take several months or even upwards of a year. Part of the process that requires proper inspections be conducted, a valuation be determined by appraisals, and due process through the courts. It is not until a final decision of the court is made, can the Town step in and begin the process to protect the property from further deterioration.
“Last year, we witnessed in horror what occurred at the George Rogers Clark Cabin site,” said Ramsey. “We (the Town Council) made a commitment that we’re not going to allow the historic prison site suffer a similar fate. This is something that is very near and dear, and important to each of us, and we are going to see this through to the end.”
WAVE 3 News streamed the entire news conference LIVE on Facebook. You can watch the news conference in it’s entirety by clicking the video link below. The video has a still frame delay for a few seconds, but the video will appear momentarily.