Hobby: Asbestos discovery delayed demolition

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bainbridge citizens concerned about the appearance of a half-demolished structure on Simms Street shouldn’t be too concerned — it will be cleaned up soon.

City Manager Chris Hobby said the structure, located at 432 S. Simms St. near the intersection of Simms Street and Martin Luther King Drive, was in the process of being demolished when workers discovered there was asbestos used in its construction.

Because asbestos is a cancer-causing material, the demolition has to be delayed until a licensed remover can be brought in to finish the project.

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Deputy City Manager Dustin Dowdy said he believes the mess will be cleaned up quickly.

“I would assume that they’re going to get it cleaned up after the [Thanksgiving] holidays have passed,” he said. “Asbestos clean-up requires special suits, and it’s a little more time-consuming.”

Dowdy said the building is owned by a private citizen, but CSX Railroad had asked the owner to tear the structure down. Dowdy said the owner had not gotten the proper permission from the city to tear down the building, and the city issued a “stop order” to cease the demolition.

During the city’s inspection of the building, the asbestos was discovered.

“My understanding is the building’s owner is in the process of finding a qualified person to do the asbestos abatement, and then the building will be fully demolished,” Dowdy said.