Shamokin council OKs bills for demo
SHAMOKIN - The total bill for the demolition of a pair of partially collapsed commercial buildings on North Shamokin Street last year exceeds $100,000.
City council voted Tuesday to approve invoices totaling $101,973.45. An additional $6,276 had already been paid to Disposal Management Services, Coal Township, for waste hauling related to the demolition project, said Steve Bartos, city clerk.
According to the motion approved on a 5-0 vote by council and the mayor, payments will be made "pending the release" of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from 2009 through 2012.
CDBG funding for 2012 has been approved but has not yet been received by the city.
Madonna Enterprises, Port Carbon, billed the city $25,600 for completing the site cleanup at 709-715 N. Shamokin St. Forrester Environmental, Bloomsburg, billed $42,816.34 for its role in removing suspected asbestos-containing demolition debris from the site. Lycoming County landfill, Montgomery, billed $21,787.11 for accepting 336.22 tons of debris. And PPL Electric Utilities' bill is $11,770 for the cost of de-energizing and disconnecting a power line that posed a hazard during demolition, and also working to have maintained electric service to as many customers as possible who are serviced by that line.
The invoices were provided to The News-Item on Wednesday following the submission and approval earlier that day of a Right-to-Know request.
Doesn't count first invoice
With these invoices pending, there remains the resolution of an invoice submitted by a Shamokin contractor for demolition and debris removal.
The buildings were ordered torn down under emergency in mid-June. Robert Gusick Demolition was brought in to perform the work, continuing the job for approximately two weeks before a dispute over the scope of the project led to a stop-work order.
Gusick later filed suit in county court seeking payment plus interest of his $98,500 invoice, and the matter remains unresolved.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an investigation into the demolition after a city resident's commissioned testing of a sample taken from the work site tested positive for asbestos.
A department spokeswoman did not return a telephone message seeking comment Wednesday on the status of the investigation, but had previously said the public was in no imminent health danger.
EPA ordered the city to remove all debris from the site as if it contained asbestos, Bartos has previously said, but as of Wednesday had not yet released to the city results of testing that was to be performed on several samples.
Testing on the same eight samples shared with EPA and commissioned by the city resulted in one sample testing positive for asbestos, Bartos has previously said.
Madonna Enterprises, which submitted an $8,900 estimate for site cleanup, was contracted in October to finish the work. The firm completed the job in early December.
The city bought each of the two parcels of land on which the buildings once stood for $1 a piece from county tax claims in December after having placed liens on each property.