HIGHLAND | Demolition of the former Chela's Mexican Restaurant, an abandoned building the town had been seeking to tear down for the past couple of years, has begun.
The building in Woodland Mall on 45th Street was abandoned by the restaurant's owner several years ago and relocated across the street in Griffith.
The Griffith location closed its doors last year.
"They were able to start this morning," Building Commissioner Ken Mika told the Town Council on Monday.
JM Industrial Services Inc. was hired in February to raze the building for a fee of $42,300.
The back portion of the building is already down, and the roof has been separated from the adjacent stores at the center, Mika said. The building should be down by the end of the week, he said.
The basement will be filled in and a 4-inch layer of topsoil will be added.
Mika said the site will then be seeded with grass and parking blocks will be used to form a perimeter around it.
Board members said there could be some additional costs from an environmental study that will need to be performed.
A lien has been filed to cover the town's expenses in razing the site, which is now owned by a bank, Mika said.
In other business, the town is switching vendors for its website.
The council voted unanimously to hire The Idea Factory to create a new site for a fee of $6,115.88.
"It will be a complete redesign of our website," said Council President Dan Vassar, D-3rd.
The firm also will receive a weekly fee of $125 to maintain the site.
When the new site is running in two or three months, meeting minutes and agendas of the various boards will be posted and current, Vassar said.
The new site will offer detailed features in the areas of community services, a business section, a governmental section, local notices and a section with information about the town.
The Idea Factory also produces the town's newsletter, Gazebo Express, which comes with monthly utility bills.