The Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation (land bank) held a special meeting Friday to discuss a barn on S.R. 73 previously put on hold for demolition due to asbestos.
Mackenzie Edison, the land bank coordinator, said the land bank bid the barn with a Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Grant, which Dance Excavating won with a bid of $9,500. She said, however, that the bid wasn’t awarded and was put on hold due to the asbestos found in the building.
Edison said that in conversations with the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), they seemed “confident” that if the land bank submitted a letter — which it did — that the money used for the barn was going to economic development and wouldn’t be turned over to agriculture or the like, then the money could be included in the land bank’s budget. But Edison also said there was no specific confirmation.
Edison said Lauren Walker, the city of Hillsboro’s representative on the land bank, as well as the city, reached out to Dance Excavating to get an estimate on what the barn might cost the city. She said the estimate of what the building demolition and asbestos removal might cost from Dance Excavating was $57,450.
Edison said the asbestos inspector that inspected other buildings for the grant estimated the S.R. 73 barn would be from $75,000 to $100,000 for the removal of the asbestos. However, she also said there was nothing concrete or in writing.
Walker said when she talked to Rainbow Environmental Services, a company that has worked with Dance Excavating on demolitions previously, they said they “basically” bring in double dump trucks and haul everything away. She said the company isn’t removing the asbestos. Rather, it is taking the whole structure and asbestos to an EPA or approved site. She also said she didn’t know if the Dance Excavating cost estimate for the barn included Rainbow helping them or not.
In response, Edison said the land bank would need to consider if Dance Excavating has its EPA license when deciding on who to remove the asbestos.
Highland County commissioner Terry Britton said that he thought the land bank should at least get another quote, maybe from the person doing the asbestos removal, to see how it might compare to the estimate from Dance Excavating.
In other grant news, Edison said three properties in Mowrystown and one in Hillsboro were completely demolished as of last Wednesday. She also said that they planned to start on two more on the corner of Walnut Street in Hillsboro next week. For the other properties, however, she said they wouldn’t start demolition until December.
The next meeting of the land bank is scheduled for 9 a.m.Thursday, Nov. 17.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.