Cambridge City Neighborhood Crime Watch’s Doug Harris, left, presents a proclamation to Cambridge City Police Department’s Seth Biava at the May 13 council meeting. Photo from Whitewater Community Television

Not wanting to miss out on a new local funding source to reduce blight, Cambridge City asks residents to report potentially unsafe homes that might need demolition. 

Town officials will apply through Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County for a new county blight elimination program before July 1. 

During town council’s May 13 meeting, President Jim McLane urged residents to complete a brief complaint form about blighted properties soon so they can be evaluated before council’s 6 p.m. June 10 meeting. Forms are at town hall, 127 N. Foote St. 

If Ken Risch, public works superintendent, determines those properties are unsafe and require demolition, council could approve that step before the deadline and apply for funding.  

Risch is currently pursuing bids to demolish 411 and 415 W. Front St. Council approved that demolition at April’s meeting.   

There’s no limit on the number of properties Cambridge City can submit to EDC for consideration, councilor Gary Cole noted.     

Risch recently sent preliminary unsafe letters to seven other property owners. He’s received written responses from three indicating they’ll make repairs. 

At the meeting, two residents noted concerns with homes not on Risch’s list. They said one has a caved-in roof, and another has electrical cords going into storage sheds where people are living. 

In related news, Cambridge City Main Street’s spring cleanup filled about 140 dumpster yards, and Boy Scouts filled six dumpsters with metal for recycling. 

Troy Lewis, who coordinated CCMS’ cleanup, was pleased several owners requested and received CCMS’ help for the first time, supplementing town efforts. He wants that partnership to continue.   

CCMS will provide dumpsters at no charge on Aug. 24. To seek help or volunteer, call 812-327-7391. 


Bever sent East Germantown another letter regarding its fire protection contract with Cambridge City Volunteer Fire Department. They must pay in 30 days or lose protection. East Germantown officials indicated they’d contact Milton/Washington Township VFD, but Risch, Washington Township trustee, said MWTVFD doesn’t want to serve another town. 

Council approved a $3,500 Duke Energy donation for firefighter boots. 


Council received good and not-so-good news about Phase 1B water improvements at Gateway Industrial Park. Booster station work costing about $143,000 was removed; funds will now go to water main replacements and update town mapping. 

However, Wessler Engineering requested $35,000 more because of project delays. Town Attorney Bob Bever sent Culy Contracting another letter about who should pay those costs, with no response. Bever said he believes withholding money from future payments will get Culy’s attention. 

In other business

  • Pastor Doug Harris, representing Cambridge City Neighborhood Crime Watch, recognized Cambridge City Police Department during National Police Week with an appreciative proclamation. Officers also received gift certificates and treats.
  • Council allowed CCVFD to spend $14,000 for turnout gear and equipment to wash/dry that apparel more safely, provided a $7,000 grant from Indiana Department of Natural Resources is received. 
  • “No dogs allowed” signage is being installed at Bicentennial Park on U.S. 40. Animal waste has been destroying the small grassy area at the gazebo.     


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A version of this article appeared in the May 22 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.