By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Demolition will begin soon on the heavily fire-damaged Oakwood Food Center, following a settlement with the insurance company, City Attorney Larry Coogan said at the Dec. 26 City Council meeting.
The store, 3600 Oakwood Blvd., was destroyed by fire the night of July 4, leaving residents of Coogan Towers, a high-rise housing unit for seniors and the disabled, without a nearby supermarket.
Coogan said the owners provided him and Building Official Brad Burns with documentation that they are moving forward with the demolition of the building.
“I have talked with the person who has been hired to do the demo, and their engineer, and they assured us that they will be moving forward quite quickly with it,” Coogan said. “I lit a fire, and so did Brad, and talked with the three owners, and they provided us with a copy of a contract for the demo company.”
Coogan said the insurance company already has provided the funds for the demolition. He said the city has $50,000 of that settlement in escrow, and said he will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the demolition occurs soon.
“It appears that we are on track,” Coogan said. “I am pretty happy to see the signed contract with the demo company, and things appear to be moving.”
Coogan said the demolition company will need to pull permits with the city, and he noted that the water and gas have been cut off to the site, and they are waiting for DTE to disconnect the electrical utilities.
Burns said the fire department may be called upon to allow the demolition company to tie into a hydrant to provide water to control dust during the demolition process, which he said is a standard process.
Burns said he has been told by the owners that asbestos abatement has already occurred, but he has not yet seen the verifying paperwork. He said the permit process will regulate what materials may wash into the storm sewers with the dust-controlling water during the demolition process.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)