The Delaware Hotel is now owned by the city of Delaware, putting it one step closer to the wrecking ball.

The Delaware Hotel is now owned by the city of Delaware, putting it one step closer to the wrecking ball.

City manager Tom Homan told city council members at a Jan. 30 retreat the city closed on the hotel on Jan. 29 and hopes to begin its demolition next month.

The city paid about $227,000 for the closed hotel and the 5.4 acres it sits on, said Dean Stelzer, city finance director.

The city is reviewing demolition bids and expects to award a contract in early February, Homan said.

Meanwhile, council member Carolyn Riggle and other city employees are making arrangements to salvage as much of the furnishings, fixtures and building materials as possible before the hotel is reduced to rubble.

Riggle has identified a woman who makes sleeping bags for the homeless who will use the bed linens. The woman also makes "care" packages and will use the bars of soap, washcloths and other items to fill them.

County fairground officials plan to use some of the fixtures and other items, and a demolition crew from Habitat for Humanity will remove any materials they can use in future projects, Riggle said.

Even the fire chief is looking at some kitchen equipment and wants to use the building for training before it comes down, Homan said.

Last summer, the county and city agreed to use $1.1-million in Ohio Neighborhood Stabilization Grant funds to buy the land and demolish the hotel. The city plans to bring in a developer to transform the property into some type of housing.

The hotel closed in September 2008 after inspectors with the city, the Delaware General Health District and the state fire marshal's office found several code violations.

The building was damaged by an arson fire last July.