City of Decatur & taxpayers not responsible for clean-up costs after building fire


DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials with the City of Decatur said neither their organization nor taxpayers will be responsible for cleaning up a building that burned down.

The fire happened May 1 at a former Aramark warehouse near East Grand Avenue and North Calhoun Street. It took several hours for fire crews to put out the flames.

At the beginning of the clean-up process, Deputy City Manager Jon Kindseth said the City was footing the bill to get some collapsed walls pushed out of the road. He said they did this so vehicles could get through the area again.

Kindseth said they contacted the building owner, but they were overseas at the time of the fire and could not do anything until they got back. “We couldn’t wait, so we moved forward in the best interest of the public so life could get back to normal,” he said. That is when the City authorized the work needed to get the walls and debris out of the road.

The deputy city manager said that work cost around $4,000-5,000. However, the City will submit receipts to the property owner’s insurance company for reimbursement.

As for the rest of the clean-up, Kindseth said the property owner has insurance to cover the cost.

“This is a good example of City staff following through to make sure taxpayers are not on the hook for something they shouldn’t be,” said Kindseth. “We work hard to make sure the financial impact is felt by the responsible party.”

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