It will be city personnel, rather than a private contractor who will bring down Hannibal’s long-abandoned wastewater treatment plant, located on an 8.1 acre plat of city-owned land near where Bear Creek meets the Mississippi River.
When seeking City Council permission on Dec. 18 to raze the existing buildings at the site, City Manager Jeff LaGarce proposed waiting a bit to mobilize Street Department workers on the outside chance that a private contractor might want to do the job with the understanding its compensation would solely be salvage rights of the stone structures.
While there was a nibble, no agreement was reached, according to LaGarce.
“The company we initially thought had interest has indicated it will pass. They did explore the situation, but decided otherwise,” he said. “I’m not surprised there was no interest. I just wanted to delay the operation in the event somebody might express interest.”
The Street Department has already completed some prep work at the site, clearing brush and trees from around the buildings earlier this week.
The work schedule for the project is not set in stone.
“Work will begin very soon. I cannot target (Street Department Superintendent) Leon Wallace’s exact timeline, but I gather the response will be fairly immediately,” said the city manager. “Weather is largely a factor only if our employees must be plowing. Drier weather is obviously better, but not essential since there’s nothing nearby to dirty-up or damage. Frozen ground is sufficient as well; less quagmire and the building razes just as easily.”
LaGarce couldn’t say how long the project will take.
“There are only three to four buildings to demolish, and there’s nothing nearby/adjacent that would present extra cautions to take,” he said.
The city is ready to bring down the structures, which LaGarce described last month as “ongoing safety hazards.”