It appears the Ripon Common Council is coalescing around the idea that the former American House building it owns at 230 Watson St. will need to come down.

   At Monday’s meeting, five days after half the council toured the building, no one disagreed with this likely path forward. In fact, multiple council members agreed this is the only option.

   The bigger question? What should happen with the space afterward and how to move forward.

   But before the council began considering those steps, several elected officials agreed the mold and deterioration in the building warrants its tear-down. This would likely occur before the property, which the city has tried to sell for some time now, could be sold.

   “My recommendation after going through here ... is it’s going to need to come down,” Mayor Gary Will said. “That doesn’t mean the property is still not for sale; the property can always be for sale if somebody wants to buy it.”

   “I was shocked at the condition of that building,” Ald. John Splitt said. “And everybody knows that I am 100% for preservation. But with no developer really interested because of no return on investment [we need to tear it down]. If anybody else owned that building, the city would be pushing to get it repaired or razed.”

Read the full story, including how the city would fund the tear-down and how that might impact decisions for the property, in the Aug. 29, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.