XENIA — As the year draws to a close, the Xenia City Council dealt with the upcoming loss of a Xenia landmark during its final meeting of 2013 Monday night.
City Manager Jim Percival introduced emergency ordinances for Change Orders in payment for two projects, a clean-up project at OVCH and a second at the Hooven and Allison property.
“We had the engineering firm do the evaluation of the chimney stack (at Hooven and Allison),” Percival said. “It would cost $244,000 just to maintain (the stack). It would cost $44,000 to demolish. It was our sincere hope to save the chimney stack, as it is such an iconic structure in the city. Unfortunately, the damage to the stack was too intensive.”
According to the city, the stack will be demolished by a small implosion at a date near the end of January. A public viewing area will be established. This will allow those who wish to attend a location for safely viewing the implosion.
The city is now in the planning stages with engineering consultants from Burgess and Niple and Environmental Management Services and demolition subcontractor Loewendick & Sons.
Percival said the money for the stack stabilization would take away from other projects and is not eligible under the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant.
“The nearly quarter million dollars needed to stabilize the stack would have to come from money that can be used for other capital projects, such as street repair,” Percival said in an additional release received by the Gazette Tuesday morning.
He added that the city would have to have the stack inspected and periodic maintenance work done every few years would require an additional cost.
“The building that was to be saved on Grove Avenue (Building Two), once the remediation work was finished, showed the building was in worse shape than thought. The cost of the stabilization would be exactly the same as the cost to tear it down. Our recommendation is to tear it down and start with a clean site.”
Councilman Dale Louderback asked about the demolition.
“There’s a lot of history there, including my father who worked there,” Louderback said. “But the cost of saving (the stack) in these economic times doesn’t make sense. Of course, if there is someone out there that has deep pockets, we would love to have you come forward. Once it is torn down, can we save the bricks for people who want them?”
Louderback was told that the city is planning to have a safe viewing area for the public to watch the stack come down on Jan. 29, and also planning to have a gathering for those who want to come out and get a brick or take a photo.
Bricks that remain on the site will be crushed to be used as aggregate fill.
Percival said that the site will be a “clean, 21-acre site for commercial use.” He added that the site cannot be used for residential purposes because of the strict covenants of the grant received for the project.
The council approved year-end appropriations, as well as appropriations to begin 2014.
“This ordinance balances the books for the year,” Percival said of the 2013 appropriations. Council also passed an emergency ordinance to make interim appropriations for current expenses and other expenditures during the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
Percival also recommended the council reject the bid for the Massie Wellfield project.
“We only received one bid,” Percival said. “That bid was well above the budgeted amount. We will rebid the project after the first of the year.”
The council also approved a vendors’ list for the purchase of gas and diesel fuels for the city’s fleet of vehicles.
The winners of the Hometown Christmas window decorating contest were presented their awards during the meeting. Sue Hunt of Downtown Xenia Now said the competition was extremely difficult to judge.
“It took us about a week of deliberation and counting to decide who the winner was,” Hunt said. “After talking it over, we decided the first place was a tie. We decided to split the first and second place prize money with each receiving $225.”
T Lane Designs and Dodd’s Monuments were the winners. The Dodd’s window was decorated by staff members of the Xenia Branch of the Greene County Library.
Tiffany Jewelers was the third place winner and received $75.
“I think judging this was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Mayor Marsha Bayless said.
Contact William Duffield at email@example.com or 372-4444 ext. 133.