Keokuk Ready To Clean Debris

Keokuk, IA – Keokuk is ready to start removing the massive pile of debris along Main Street.

The former Green Tambourine at 6th & Main collapsed on July 31. The city has been waiting to see if the property owner, who lives in Northern Illinois, and the Iowa DNR can reach an agreement on the clean-up.

Mayor Dave Gudgel says Keokuk can no longer wait to see who will pay for the debris to be removed. "We probably are going to go ahead with clean-up on our dime," says Gudgel, "but reserve the right to go after the present owner for any and all money we could get from this person."

Gudgel would like to see the clean-up get underway within the next two weeks. He says it could be completed by early December.

City staff is working on a cost estimate for the clean-up. Gudgel expects that number to be much lower than a previously thrown out estimate of $600,000.

The final price tag could be determined by the presence of asbestos. Preliminary testing for that substance is underway.

The Keokuk Historic Preservation Commission has previously asked for a special panel to be created to oversee the clean-up. Gudgel says such a panel will not be formed, but he says clean-up will take place with preservation in mind.

The commission says the underground architecture has significant historic value.