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Last resort | Clarksville officials move to condemn historic Colgate Plant

Clarks Landing Enterprise Investments has owned the property since 2014 but it has sat empty since the Colgate and Palmolive Company left.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a resolution passed Tuesday night, the Clarksville town council voted to acquire, protect and reuse the historic Colgate plant according to a press release.

Clarks Landing Enterprise Investments has owned the property since 2014 but it has sat empty since the Colgate and Palmolive Company left.

The council said they did not make the decision lightly, and that condemning the building was a last resort. They added they want to preserve and enjoy the building’s history.

Ken Conklin, communications director for Clarksville, said the town's main goal is to preserve the historical integrity of the building and the clock.

Read the full statement below:

“Since the historic prison site more commonly known as “Colgate” was acquired more than 11 years ago, we have witnessed the depreciation and degradation of one of the Town’s most iconic historic sites. The former prison and reformatory has been recognized by the National Park Service on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes notable examples such as the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis, the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site in Corydon, and the Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site in New Albany. Instead of being saved and celebrated like these other Indiana landmarks, we have instead been forced to bear witness as the site becomes more dilapidated and blighted with each passing year. 

Once touted as the key driver for multiple redevelopment plans in South Clarksville, these buildings now serve only as eyesores. The Clarksville Redevelopment Commission has made multiple attempts to negotiate incentive packages with current ownership to help develop the site, including master plans and new infrastructure (roads, utilities, etc.), and we have waited with patient anticipation for the restoration and development to occur. After 11 years, our excitement has understandably diminished. 

We did not make this decision lightly. Condemnation is always used as a last resort, and we have exhausted all other options. If we allowed for the site to continue to degrade for another 11 years it would likely require demolition. We want to preserve and enjoy our history, we do not want to see it relegated solely to pictures and stories. Given the circumstances, the Town of Clarksville needs to take control and protect this property for future generations. We are looking forward to moving ahead with acquisition and saving this property for all Clarksville citizens, Southern Indiana residents, and for all within the Greater Louisville Metro Area.”

Hon. Ryan Ramsey, President (District 3)
Hon. Karen Henderson, Vice-President (At-Large)
Hon. John Gilkey, Secretary (District 2)
Hon. Tim Hauber (District 1)
Hon. Michael ‘Mike’ Mustain (District 4)
Hon. A.D. Stonecipher (District 5)
Hon. Jennifer Voignier (At-Large)

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