KENDALLVILLE — A year after the former McCray Refrigerator factory burned in a massive fire, the city is finalizing the cleanup bill — $1.3 million.
On June 4, Kendallville Board of Works members authorized a six-year loan to pay off an existing line of credit the city had opened in 2018 to pay bills for the removal of the McCray factory debris.
The more than 300,000-square-foot complex was devastated by a fire that sparked around 2:30 a.m. June 4, 2018. It took crews from all across northeast Indiana nearly the entire day to knock down flames and put out hotspots on the complex, which suffered a partial collapse from the damage and from firefighting efforts.
After the fire ripped up the complex, Mayor Suzanne Handshoe vowed to get cleanup done as soon as possible. An environmental crew was hired by fall to plan for the building removal and crews worked throughout the winter reclaiming bricks and trucking away debris.
The cleanup concluded March 1, leaving only the concrete foundations of the building on the site off Wayne Street.
The city had authorized up to $1.75 million for the cleanup, so the final cost came in less.
Still, the end cost is likely much higher than if the building had not burned and the city had been able to follow its original plan of letting scrappers claim materials from the building before launching a conventional demolition.
May 28, clerk-treasurer Sheryl Hanes presented quotes from local banks to pay off the line of credit it had taken out with Campbell & Fetter Bank in August at 2.285% interest.
Hanes had requested quotes from three banks — Community State Bank, Campbell & Fetter and Horizon Bank, with Campbell & Fetter returning the lowest rate of 2.78% fixed.
With that rate, the recommendation was for a six-year payback with semi-annual payments of $125,000 each.
Those payments are built into the board of works budget and Handshoe said she hopes the city can pay off the loan early, although that will depend on how yearly expenditures pan out.
“We hope to pay it off early, but we’ll see,” the mayor said. “We set it up with payments that we know the budget can support and handle.”