Warren continues work on house demolitions

WARREN – M&M Demolition Inc. likely will receive the contract to tear down the second set of houses being demolished in Warren using Moving Ohio Forward grant funds.

“It had the lowest bid with $212,312,” said John May of Warren’s Community Development office last week.

Three companies provided bids on the 25-house project, including Baumann Enterprises Inc., Holton Inc. and M&M.

Holton won the contract to demolish the first 16 homes, which the city began tearing down earlier this month, at a cost of $110,690.

The demolitions must be complete by Jan. 1, 2014, in order for the city to receive the full grant. The grant money is comprised of $500,000 from the state and a $500,000 local match.

Mayor Doug Franklin has said the deadline will be met.

In the latest bid opened by the city on Thursday, the average per-house demolition cost is $8,492. The average per-house cost for Holton was $9,589 and the average per-house for Baumann was $11,784.

The bids include asbestos removal.

“We included the asbestos abatement in the demolition to reduce the amount of time it takes to do the work,” May said. “It is up to the contractor that wins the bid to hire the company that will remove the asbestos.”

The houses being selected to be torn down are based, in part, on the priority map created by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and sent to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office with the city’s application for funds. Also being considered are the houses on the city’s demolition list.

“The priority one houses on the TNP’s map generally have mirrored the houses that exist on the city’s Board Ordered Demolition list, so there are few conflicts,” Safety-Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said.

The Board Ordered Demolition list has 317 houses on it. There are 414 homes on the city’s condemned list.

Cantalamessa said the administration has been receiving recommendations about which houses should be torn down from a variety of sources, including safety agencies, council members as well as residents.

“All of the requests that we received were considered and compared against the priority map,” Cantalamessa said. “New requests for homes to be torn down can affect our priority list, but typically they do not unless it presents such a great hazard to health and human welfare that circumstances dictate that attention be paid to it.”

The city is waiting for asbestos testing to be completed prior to putting out bids for the third round of houses. The testing to determine the amount of asbestos is located in the house prior to the bids for the demolition is sent out.

“We want the cost of removing the asbestos to be in the demolition contract,” May said. “We want the abatement company to know what to move out of the companies.”

Of the first 16 homes torn down, 10 were identified as having asbestos. In the current group of homes, 20 out of 25 have asbestos that must be removed.

Having asbestos in the vast majority of the houses that so far have been torn down has both increased the amount of time it has taken to raze and the cost.

“All of the houses being considered for demolition are tested for asbestos,” Cantalamessa said “It takes an average two weeks for the samples taken at the houses to be sent to a lab and returned to us. Some of the properties may require second test samples, adding an additional two or more weeks to the asbestos testing.”

The city has 86 homes waiting to be tested.

“We are working to attract more demolition contractors to bid on this work,” Cantalamessa said.