Burlington, IA – Des Moines County started tearing down 24 properties in and around Huron Township and on Otter Island late last year. Project Manager Jeff Hanan says the work had to be halted when the temperatures dipped well below freezing.
The delay was due to the technique used to tear down the structures.
Hanan says each structure had to be treated as if it has asbestos because testing could not be done before the flood waters rose 18 months ago. He says structures where asbestos is found or assumed, they must have water sprayed on them to prevent material from escaping.
Hanan says if the day-time temperatures remain above freezing, the final seven structures could come down before the end of January.
The weather delay forced the Des Moines County Board of Supervisors to grant a 30-day extension for the project. Hanan says that extension took effect Wednesday, January 13.
Hanan says the current property owners will keep their land after the structures are cleared out. He says most, though, could take advantage of a buy-out program being developed by Des Moines County leaders.
Hanan says the properties will be cleared to allow for future construction and development, pending flood-plain related permits. He says properties are also being torn down in Columbus Junction and in Louisa County.