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Editorial: Down goes the elevator

Ruby Development, which owns this grain elevator formerly owned by New Vision Cooperative, will have 90 days to file an abatement plan with the city of Worthington following a judge's ruling Monday.

At the April 25 Worthington City Council meeting, a plan to create an indoor climbing facility at the former New Vision Co-op elevator in downtown Worthington was kept alive by a council decision to grant an extension on demolition of the non-original portion of the structure. As part of the action, owner Stuart Carleton would have to escrow $50,000 for the deal to work.

On Tuesday morning, the elevator -- all of it -- began to crumble under the force of a wrecking ball. Carleton told the Daily Globe that the city has continued to propagate misinformation about him and his company, Ruby Development, and that this newspaper has printed it. City officials, meanwhile, have continued to be skeptical of the deal that gave Carleton the elevator in the first place, as New Vision paid Ruby Development $50,000 to take the title of the property in 2007. Mayor Alan Oberloh has referred to Ruby as a "shell corporation."

What's clear today is not whether the city was unfairly attacking Carleton (and, before that, New Vision), or if something on the slightly unseemly side went down. What's evident, instead, is that a facility that has been officially a public nuisance for nearly four years is now being removed.

Many city leaders are celebrating the razing of the old elevator, and it has indeed been a blight for a long time. But Worthington's Glenn Kremer, an advocate of the climbing facility proposal, said Wednesday that "it was just too bad it happened so quick. I don't know if it ever could have to come to pass, but it would have been nice to have the idea ferment a bit and see what happened."

The climbing facility idea was indeed intriguing, but it became clear Tuesday that what had already been a long fermentation process for the elevator was -- at long last -- over.