Demo To Start

ST. MARYS — Crews arrived on the scene Tuesday to start the process of demolishing a long-standing member of the skyline of the city of St. Marys.

A team of work contractors started roping off the site around the smoke stack to begin the process of tearing down the structure. City officials recently decided to move ahead with the project because of concerns regarding the stack’s integrity.

“It is interesting to see how they set this thing up,” St. Marys Interim Safety-Service Director Greg Foxhoven told The Evening Leader. “The scaffolding goes around the smoke stack and they will start knocking bricks off five to 10 feet a day. They have up to 50 days, but the crews think they can get it done in three weeks, weather permitting.”

Foxhoven encouraged residents to keep away from the site during the demolition process. Contractors have been directed to save any bricks that are in good condition.

“We talked with them about salvaging some bricks so if members of the community are interested in them,  they can have those,” Foxhoven said. “We don’t want people going through the job site itself.”

While the demolition is taking place, another contractor will be conducting an asbestos survey of the location. That is the first step in the process to tear down the power plant.

“Once the stack comes down to about 30 to 35 feet from the ground, at that point it is attached to the building by various pieces of equipment,” Foxhoven said. “The contractors awarded the bid for the power plant demolition will be required to take down the remainder of the smoke stack.”

The cost to demolish the stack is $116,000.