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A piece of police tape flaps in the breeze at the delapidated structure that was Tonica's Village Inn. The village has tracked down the owner after nearly a year of attempts in hopes of getting the building demolished. NewsTribune photo/Amy Flanery
TONICA — The village of Tonica may be getting some results in its efforts to see a deteriorated building disappear. The village has taken legal action to push the property owner into action. It took a while, but the owner of the Village Inn has been located in Indiana and was served May 10, according to attorney Bob Steele.
Steele said he has told representatives of the Village Inn that the town wants the building down in time for Tonica Fest, which will be Aug. 22-25.
Last month, Steele told the board that asbestos would have to be removed from the building before demolition could take place. On Monday, Steele said someone from the Environmental Protection Agency visited the site recently, and the asbestos problem in the building should be resolved by the next village board meeting, June 17.
“We’ve heard it before; now I think we’re seeing some action finally,” Steele said. “There’s a new lawyer on the case and he’s apparently taken the position that delay is not doing him any good. It’s not making him any friends.”
Trustee Bob Foltynewicz expressed concern that the building is still accessible to the public.
“Any other building the first thing you do is board it up, and they’re getting away without boarding it up,” Foltynewicz said.
Steele also said that he has been told the owner intends to clean up the old restaurant and truck stop property as well.