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Contractor gets go-ahead to demolish Grove building

[3/26/04]A Delta City contractor has gotten a permit to remove asbestos and demolish the former Ludke Electric building on Grove Street.

Vicksburg’s building inspection administrator, Victor Gray-Lewis, said he hopes to see the structure at 1814 Grove St., gone in six months. The city board ordered the demolition last month and will pay about $10,000 for the work.

The city will then place a lien on the property to pay for the demolition.

Gray-Lewis said it is difficult to say how long work will take.

“The unknown is how long it will take to get the asbestos out and properly dispose of it,” Gray-Lewis said.

The vacant building is near St. Aloysius High School and Vicksburg Church of Christ Holiness, which faces Fifth North Street. The building was once an industrial electric workshop.

“The school and the neighborhood deserve better than a building falling in,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens.

Asbestos is a material formerly used as insulation and for other purposes. When airborne, fibers can lodge in the lungs and lead to lung diseases. When it is found, specialized demolition procedures are followed.

In addition to asbestos, officials say the property may be contaminated from chemicals once used there, but there has never been a formal inspection.

The city began looking at Ludke more than a year ago, but had some trouble identifying the current owners. A search of records indicated that the property now belongs to Rocky Mountain Properties of Florida and Philco Partners L.P. of Jackson.

Both companies had been notified by the city of the demolition, but no one from either company has responded to the city.