By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
The City of Parsons demolition project will be entering its final phases in the coming days. The City has received clearance from the state to move forward with the demolition of three buildings in the city limits. The first of the three are anticipated to begin demolition soon.
“I would anticipate by Friday, the company that is doing the demolition…anticipating putting up a barrier fence probably by Friday,” City of Parsons Police Chief Kevin Keplinger said at the meeting of the Parsons City Council. “And they are going to start to do their work.”
According to Keplinger the initial demolition phase will contain removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials. “Primarily, the initial work will be asbestos abatement,” Keplinger said. “I’m not really concerned about that.”
According to City Administrator Agnes Arnold, the city has received all the clearances needed to move forward with the project. “The demo is on track,” Arnold said. “All the clearances have been done and sent from the state.”
Arnold said that the Spruce Street demolition has encountered a delay. “The one on Spruce Street, will hold up. Some new asbestos has to be done,” Arnold said. “But the other two are on.”
Arnold said that sewer and water at the sites have been marked in anticipation of the demolitions. “The sewer and water accessibilities have all been shut off and marked so there’s nothing going to be dug up from those places. So those have been taken care of.”
Arnold said she spoke with the company who was contracted for the demolition of the Main Street property in regards to the veteran’s monument next door. “I did talk to Mr. Weese who is from Smokey Joe, the contractor up here,” Arnold said. “He does have a good plan set to make sure [of the] safety of the monument. He said there may be a one percent chance something happens, but his goal is to make sure nothing happens. So, he’s doing everything preventable that he can do.”
Keplinger said that the demolition may impact traffic in the area the days the building does come down, but safety will be the determining factor. “I talked to the Department of Highways today,” Keplinger said. “The Department of Highways supervisor, though, and on the day or days that they do the actual demolition, the days that the building comes down, we’re going to move that out to at least the fog line along Route 219 at Route 72. If we don’t feel that that’s sufficient, we’ve been given permission to even take the straight lane and just go to one lane for a day or so until we get that clear. We’re going to kind of look at that and what’s involved with that. Again, we want to be safe with that.”
Arnold said the work should start being evident within the next couple of weeks. “So hopefully within the next couple of weeks you should start seeing some changes,” Arnold said.
The next meeting of the City of Parsons will be held on Tuesday, September 5th at 6 p.m. at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building at 341 Second Street in Parsons.