Funding assistance could help county with demolition

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County is getting closer to eliminating a structure that has been a long-time coming.

     During the Jan. 9 Board of Supervisors meeting, the board members spoke with ECICOG representative Alicia Presto, who works in the Solid Waste & Environmental Services department.

     Presto presented the board with a summary explaining their options with the former Dirks service station in Wyoming, located at 311 W. Main St.

     Through ECICOG’s Derelect Building Program, which is available to cities with 5,000 or fewer residents, the county could dispose of the gas station with some financial assistance. (While the structure is owned by the county, it lies within Wyoming city limits. Wyoming’s population is less than 5,000, which Presto said would likely make the county eligible.)

     The program can help demolish structures that have been sitting vacant for at least six months. The former Dirks station has been sitting empty for years.

     Unlike other buildings that the county has paid to demolish, such as the old meat locker in Langworthy, Presto said there is a stipulation if the county chooses to go through the Derelect Building Program.

     “The program’s main focus is landfill diversion through the recycling and reuse of building materials rather than typical demolition,” she said. “We’ll need to find a way to reuse as much of the materials as we can versus taking it to the landfill.”

     The program offers a wide array of options, but the assistance particular to Jones County would include 100 percent reimbursement for asbestos removal/disposal up to $10,000 and 50 percent reimbursement for building deconstruction up to $50,000. The program also offers assistance for asbestos inspection, but the county already had that done, and can’t be reimbursed for any work that’s already been completed.

     Presto said the county could go about the deconstruction in phases if they wish, but would have to reapply for the program through each phase. She warned the Derelect Program is quite competitive.

     “We just need the building to go away,” voiced Supervisor Wayne Manternach, who said the structure has been in disarray for quite some time.

     “It’s been an eye-sore for people in the community,” added Supervisor Joe Oswald.

     Presto said she felt the county had a good shot at the funding because the building has been sitting vacant for a long period of time, and it a cost issue when it comes to demolition.

     Before the county seeks bids on this project, Presto encouraged the board to stipulate the fact that buildings materials must be reused where possible.

     “Typically a lot of contractors know who’s looking for material,” offered Presto. She said ECICOG could also offer assistance if needed.

     Applications for the Derelect Program are due April 4, with funding available by July 1. Presto said it depends on when the committee meets to review the applications as far as when the awards would be announced. Again, she said any work done to the property before July 1 would not be covered by the grant.

In other county business:

     • Several employees with The Riverview Center in Marion were present at the board meeting to ask the county for a funding request of $5,000 for FY 2019. Last year, Jones County did not fund the Center.

     The Riverview Center focuses on sexual assault and trauma therapy and services.

     Last year, Riverview provided 90 hours of services in Jones County. They said with the funding request they plan to bring awareness to the area about their services, establish a local presence, and spend more time at community events.

     Riverview’s funding comes from the federal government, state and local governments. They also receive money from community foundations and private donors.

     • Manternach reported that the mental health region approved to help fund telehealth services for the Jones County. This would allow inmates to see psychiatrists via the Internet.

     • Assistant Engineer Todd Postel asked the board to approve a right-of-way contract on County Road E-45 with Al and Karlene Groth.

     Secondary Roads is asking for .23 of an acre, at a cost of $8,500 an acre.

     The county plans to remove a bridge and replace it with a culvert on E-45 and re-grade a portion of the roadway.

     “There’s no way to avoid not needing right-of-way,” said Postel.

     The board approved the ROW contract.


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