Sweet Springs barricades building, prepares for removal of debris

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Sweet Springs extended its barricade across Marshall Street Sunday night for the building along an entire block of Miller Street. Bob Singleton owns the building, located at 202 Lexington Street.

"We thought we needed to protect citizens that are driving by there or walking by there," Mayor Vivian Wiley said during the Board of Aldermen's meeting Monday night. "(The) crack on the west side is a lot wider than it was six months ago." She also mentioned brick pieces are falling from the building.

Alderman Jim Lindemann said the door is bulging near its midpoint, plaster is falling and paneling is separating from the existing wall.

"I think we need to talk to Mr. Singleton about it, see if he wants to do anything about it," Lindemann said.

"There's a limitation on what we can do, unfortunately," added Alderman Neil Grigsby.

A past problem building was also discussed at the meeting.

Derl Bernard, whose building on the corner of Miller and Lexington Street collapsed in August 2002, asked the aldermen for permission to use water from a fire hydrant on Jan. 20 while removing debris from the property. He said he believes the water will be used to weigh down the debris, which is thought to contain asbestos. Remnants of the collapsed building will be wrapped in plastic and put in a truck. The process will be observed by Department of Natural Resources representatives, Bernard said. He said removing the wreckage will cost five times what the building was worth.

"It's a high-dollar deal," he said. "That's opened up a big problem for anyone that owns a building."

Asbestos is used in insulation, roofing, flooring and other building materials. When materials containing the heat-resistant fibers are damaged, asbestos is released into the air and can cause health problems such as lung cancer when inhaled.

The aldermen gave Bernard permission to use the hydrant and said they could attach a meter to measure the amount of water he uses. The city officials said they would provide a barricade if given a day's notice.

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