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Building razed

Mayor says Bridge Street demolition safe

By Holly Neumann

The Manawa Common council discussed demolition of the building at 103 S. Bridge St. and the Pope properties at its March 19 meeting.

“Obviously we have seen that 103 S. Bridge St. is coming to the ground,” Mayor John Smith said. “Social media is never our friend, it doesn’t seem like. There have been some postings about asbestos in the air and not taking care of it and poisoning the city.”

According to Smith, this is not true.

“The project was actually backed up a week for tear down, because after the crews went through to abate the environmental issues, they thought they were done, but when the DNR came back through, and the city engineers came back through, they found some more,” Smith said. “Those issues were all abated, and there is nothing remaining in the building.”

Smith reassured the community Manawa is safe for the public.

“Everything came out prior to the building coming down,” he said. “We should all proceed with our lives as normal.”

The council also approved Smith to write a letter to the city attorney to petition the court for demolition of the Pope properties on Fourth and Bridge streets.

“This is a long, lengthy process. Almost four years,” Smith said. “The idea is not just cleanup. The buildings are no longer safe for human occupancy.”

A public hearing will be held during the April 16 common council meeting to discuss additional fees for dog pickups.

Police Chief Jim Gorman reported that periodically throughout this last month, he has placed some part-time officers at both schools for a couple of hours.

“In light of what has been happening throughout our country the past few months, and the threats that we have had, I think the administration and teachers appreciate that,” he said.

Gorman said he has asked District Administrator Melanie Oppor about matching their hours at the schools, and she will be looking into that.

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