‘Unsafe’ building to be demolished, hauled away

Published 4:56pm Saturday, September 7, 2013

By Josh Bergeron

The Selma Times-Journal


A Selma-based construction company is preparing to demolish a crumbling, city-owned building for free.

Cooper Brothers Construction president Thomas Bolton proposed to demolish the Stewart-King-McKenzie building for free during Thursday’s work session of the Selma city Council.

The building currently consists of a few brick walls, a concrete slab and a huge swath of broken glass and debris.

Selma resident Ted Jenkins said the building is an eyesore and a health hazard to the nearby neighborhood.

“There is broken glass all over the place,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t go in there and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go in there either. If a child got into the mess, they could get seriously hurt.”

The demolition effort would be a public-private partnership between the city’s fire department and Cooper Brothers Construction, according to Bolton’s proposed contract.

The company would demolish the remaining parts of the building above the concrete slab and sort each type of debris into separate piles, according to the contract.

Copper Brother Construction would begin demolition within two weeks of the city signing the contract. Demolition would take approximately 14 days.

After the company completes its portion of the project, the fire department would conduct a controlled burn of the remaining wood. The city would then haul all debris to a landfill.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed 19 days after demolition begins, according to the contract.

Cooper Brothers Construction originally gave the city a quote of $6,500, but Bolton said he is willing to absorb the cost.

Cooper Brothers Construction previously had an agreement with the city to demolish the property, but stopped in 2008, during the economic recession.

Bolton stressed he didn’t back out of the contract, but rather, was told another company would take over demolition of the project. He said the demolition is necessary to improve the image of Selma and protect his reputation.

“When I have industrial prospects and they hear this fussing and fighting, they don’t want to come here,” Bolton said. “My reputation is worth more than all of this fighting, so I have decided to do it for free.”

Selma Mayor George Evans said he is anxious to remove the building, but is unsure when construction will start.

“The council will most likely take action on Tuesday on the contract, then the company can get started,” Evans said. “It’s an eyesore for the city of Selma and needs to be removed. I think the land could be used for a park.”

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