County commissioners extended a street closure for a collapsed building on Wyoming Street, but blasted the owner for offering “excuse after excuse” and questioned his ability to pull off the building demolition.
In a 6-5 vote, commissioners Wednesday night extended the closure until Oct. 18 – the deadline for demolishing the building – as requested by owner Neil “Joe” Lynch. But several commissioners also expressed their exasperation with Lynch, who failed to secure a contractor for the demolition when he previously told the council he would.
Lynch now plans to spearhead the project himself, with the help of subcontractors.
“It’s absolutely contrary to what he told us two weeks ago,” said Commissioner Mark Moodry. Lynch and his subcontractors have been training for asbestos removal this week, according to Dana Trandahl, who represented Lynch Wednesday night. He did not attend the meeting.
However, that is an unnecessary step, said Moodry, listing several contractors who are already certified for such projects.
“They could be tearing the building down today,” said Moodry.
Because of debris spilled during the collapse, all the material needs to be treated as if it’s contaminated with asbestos, according the Chief Executive Matt Vincent. While the county agreed to waive 10 percent of the landfill fee for asbestos-contaminated materials, Lynch will still be on the hook for about $250,000 in such fees.
“We will have to work out some sort of assurance that Mr. Lynch will be able to pay us,” Vincent said.
Lynch still needs to provide several assurances before the county will let him proceed with the demolition. His permit was issued based on the assumption that he is hiring a contractor for the job, said county planning director Jon Sesso.
“We’ve still got some due diligence to do,” he said.