Ben-Hur Building

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Four years ago, when Crawfordsville won one of the state’s Stellar Communities awards, its art deco downtown Ben-Hur Building was one of the centerpieces.

Since then, though, it’s been plagued with delays, including changes in the contracting firm that’ll refurbish it. Now, the city says it’ll use tax increment financing to help push the project forward, but how much will that cost taxpayers – and is the amount more than it would have been four years ago?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Not to mix literary metaphors, but since Crawfordsville won the Stellar Communities competition a few years ago, the Ben-Hur building has been a bit of a white whale for Mayor Todd Barton. It was sold as a cornerstone of the way Crawfordsville would look when the Stellar projects were complete – but it’s been plagued by delays and confusion ever since.

Now the state has given another $100,000 for the building’s renovation, so will that kickstart development? We put that question to Mayor Barton today, on Ask The Mayor.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In his State of the City address this week, Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton declared it was, in his words, “time for us to quit kicking the can down the road and start to fix things.” That’s a big statement, which always comes with an undertone suggesting past leaders have been somewhat derelict in their duties. This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we quiz Mayor Barton on exactly what he meant and how he plans to do things differently.