SIDNEY — A portion of the Wagner Ware building was torn down after a partial collapse on Christmas Day.
According to Barbara Dulworth, Sidney’s community development director, contractors were on site Friday to remove debris from the property.
“The partial collapse that occurred on Dec. 25 spilled debris onto the closed sidewalk, but did not extend to Wilkinson Avenue. A contractor is at the site today (Friday), removing the debris from the sidewalk area, taking down the remainder of the building that partially collapsed, and re-installing the fence along the property line,” said Dulworth.
Dulworth said the Ohio EPA was notified Thursday about the emergency demolition.
In April 2008, a three-story brick wall collapsed on the property, said Dulworth in an email. There were other dangerous conditions present and the owner of the Wagner Ware property — Master Vision Polishing — ceased operations and abandoned the building. The city has been monitoring the property since then.
“In the short term, city staff regularly inspect the property to 1) secure the property to the extent possible and discourage trespassers and 2) evaluate the structures for potential collapse which could be a safety risk to the public traveling on the adjacent streets,” said Dulworth.
Dulworth said the city is trying to find a longterm solution to the problem.
“For the long term, the city’s goal is to remove the dangerous and blighted structures and have the property be once again a productive site,” said Dulworth. “The cost of demolishing the structures and remediating the environmental hazards to make the property redevelopment-ready has been roughly estimated $1.2 million to $1.5 million.
“Necessary soil remediation is estimated to cost an additional $350,000 to $600,000. A formidable amount of money for anyone to fund. Unfortunately, there are limited grant dollars available and many brownfield sites in Ohio and across the nation to compete against for the funds that are available,” she said.
The city, said Dulworth, will continue to identify and evaluate potential grant funds and any other funding sources to take care of the Wager Ware property and, in the meantime, continue to inspect the buildings for any potential hazards to the public.
One of the principal owners of the Master Vision Polishing — Ernie Powers — resides in Sidney, said Dulworth.
“Master Vision Polishing will be invoiced for the cost of the work being done today. If the invoice is not paid, the cost will be assessed to the property through the County Auditor,” she said.
Dulworth said, as far as she knows, the owners of the building haven’t visited the property since 2008.
“No structural elements have been removed, nor would removal of any part of the building structure be allowed without a demolition permits,” she said.
The city has used two grants to complete an assessment of the property.
“The city received a USEPA Brownfield Assessment Grant, $185,000, and Clean Ohio Assistance Fund Assessment grant, $200,175, to complete an assessment of the environmental hazards in 2012-2014. No grants for demolition,” said Dulworth.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.