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A longtime Columbus municipal building will be razed by the end of next year and returned to nature.
The city has awarded an $834,255 contract to Denney Excavating of Indianapolis to dismantle and remove the city’s former wastewater treatment plant on Water Street.
“I don’t believe there is any desire for a public use for the property at this point,” said Keith Reeves, director of Columbus City Utilities.
The 19-acre property, which is prone to flooding, is south of the railroad tracks and does not have good access to the rest of the city, reducing the possibility of future development.
“All the things that made us look for other sites would be the same shortcomings it would still have,” Reeves said.
The city replaced the aging plant in 2011, expanding the city’s ability to handle wastewater for future growth and ending the frequent dumping of raw sewage into rivers whenever there was a strong rain. The new plant is about three miles south of downtown on Jonesville Road near Garden City.
The former treatment plant was constructed in the late 1940s and bears a plaque showing it opened in 1953, Reeves said. However, there were major renovations in the 1970s.
The newest building at the site, a steel garage built in 1992, will be kept for storage by the utility, Reeves said.
The contract gives Denney until the end of next year to remove the buildings, but work is likely to begin as soon as feasible, said Jason Chopp, an engineer with the utility’s engineering consultant, Strand and Associates.
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