Firm hired for removal of hazardous materials from Justice Center site

Posted September 20, 2023 at 11:54 am

The demolition of the existing buildings which will make room for a new Clinton County Justice Center will see about an overall year’s delay in happening. That is the negative news.
The positive news, however, came over the past couple of weeks and during last weeks Judicial PDB (Project Development Board) meeting, where it was learned the hazardous water materials will soon be removed, paving the way for the building(s) demolition process to begin.
Environmental assessments conducted on the decades old facilities revealed hazardous chemicals of various types, which could only be removed from certified companies who handle hazardous waste materials.
Although actual demolition of the existing buildings was originally scheduled to have begun in January of this year, the environmental findings caused months of delay on the project.
The local PDB, in conjunction with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) advertised for the hazardous waste removal on different occasions, with no bids received.
Recently, Clinton County Fiscal Court voted to change its procurement policy of bidding for services, setting the amount for services that could be done without bidding from $20,000 to $40,000.00.
The local board and AOC reached out to companies to do the waste removal and have now secured three different companies to remove the hazardous waste items.
The Project Development Board held its regular monthly meeting last Friday morning, September 15 with six members on hand and took action that many had been waiting on for the past several months.
On a motion by David Williams, seconded by Jake Staton, the board opted to hire Chase Environmental to remove the tank in one of the buildings; hire RH Environmental to remove all friable and non-friable asbestos containing materials; and hire Bluegrass Technologies to remove other hazardous materials.
The same motion included “to ratify actions taken by the Executive Committee to pay disbursement request #12 in the amount of $150,660 to Sherman Carter Barnhart for Phase A services.”
The aforementioned motion and approval of minutes were the only items on the brief 20 minute meeting agenda.
The cost of removal by each environmental company was not included in the motion. There was also no time line given as to how long the waste removal process may take.
Clinton County Judge/Executive Ricky Craig, Chairman of the PDB, said that one of the three contractors had indicated they could begin work by October 16 and the board was in the process of setting things up for the process to begin.
Craig also said no time line on how long the process may take was given, but feels it would be a matter of weeks, not months, to complete.
The PDB has already approved a bid package for demolition on the buildings, and the judge noted once the hazardous waste is removed, that package will be released for bids to be taken.
The bidding process for advertising the demolition work is 30 days, and once a bid is awarded and work begins, it is estimated the actual demolition will take only a few weeks.
The actual timing as to when the buildings may begin to be demolished and cleared will depend on a few factors, including when and how long it will take to remove the waste materials, and when the contractor that  does the demolition work can begin.
Given the time frame from when the waste removal process begins, which is expected in mid-October, through the bidding process on the demolition project, the process would take three months.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, demolition could begin in early winter, or approximately one year following the original start time.
The project began as a $17.4 million project, funding by the state through the Administrative Office of the Courts, but the price tag, due to the delays, environmental work, etc. has risen over the past year. Also, the date for actual completion is now 2027, according to most recent estimates.
However, after months of delays and negative news about the project, Judge Craig feels the “biggest obstacle” has hopefully been overcome, that being the environmental phase, now that it appears that may be taken care of, clearing the way for the demolition of the existing building and the advertising for construction of the new Clinton County Justice Center.
“The environmental issues were the biggest obstacle,” said Craig. “Once the hazardous waste is removed, the demolition of the buildings (after a contract is awarded) should go quickly.”
The next regular meeting of the Judicial Center Project Development Board (PDB) is scheduled for Friday, October 27, at 8 a.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse and is open to the public.