Asbestos Found in Partially Collapsed North Judson Building

The Town of North Judson continues making preparations for the demolition of 205 and 207 Lane Street, but a few steps remain, before the building can be removed. A structural report by engineering firm DLZ found the building to be in “critical condition” and unsafe for entry.

Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann told the town council Monday that an asbestos report has also been completed by the company. “There is asbestos in various places of the building, but it is unsafe to send anybody in there to do the cleanup on it,” Horstmann explained. “So, basically, the building has to go as all asbestos. So that has been sent out to four different contractors, and I’m waiting on hearing from them.”

Potential demolition contractors have until Thursday afternoon to respond. Council members will meet in special session Friday morning at 7:00 to choose one.

Horstmann said the contractor will be responsible for filing the necessary paperwork with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The contractor will also have to install a six-foot fence around the property until the debris can be removed.

But before any work can take place, another emergency court hearing will be held, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins. “The structural engineer has to come down and testify that the asbestos abatement team cannot go in the building, a contractor cannot go in the building, whatever he says in that report, because attorney [Todd] Wallsmith would like the contractor to go in and get some stuff out for Mr. Cassel,” Collins said.

Demolition of the building has been delayed over the past few months by owner Doug Cassel’s repeated requests to retrieve his personal property. Discussions became more urgent when part of the structure apparently collapsed in on itself on May 11.

Horstmann said it’s still possible that the building will be torn down before the upcoming Mint Festival, but the town’s cutting it close. The asbestos report cost the town $2,400, while the structural report cost another $700. The town council approved both payments to DLZ during Monday’s meeting. Town Attorney Justin Schramm previously said the town may eventually be able to recoup those costs from Cassel.