The city took another decisive step toward tearing down the former American House building it owns at 230 Watson St. — but it’s still not a done deal.

   The century-plus-old building at the corner of Watson and Blossom streets has been vacant for years. The city has owned it for several years after acquiring it at the end of a lawsuit with failed downtown developer Boca Grande Capital LLC.

   But during those years it has fallen into considerable disrepair. First, people broke into it and destroyed anything in the building that could be destroyed. Later, a significant roof leak grew to the point that a considerable portion of the building is filled with mold.

   That led the council to consider at its last meeting the idea of tearing it down.

   Then, at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, aldermen took that a step further.

   “What action are we going to be required to do tonight: to instruct Lori [Rich, city administrator] to seek out the avenue to get the funds” to do the tear down? Ald. Joel Brockman asked.

   “The motion is to investigate the possibility of using the funds to raze a property that is a blight,” City Attorney Lud Wurtz said.

Read the full story in the Sept. 12, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.