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Minatare to raze High Plains building Roof in danger of collapsing
November 25, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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The City of Minatare has moved a step closer to removing a hazardous building from the downtown area.

The abandoned High Plains Printing building at 310 Main Street has been blocked off since July after the roof of the building collapsed. A more recent inspection revealed that a smaller frame building directly to the south was also in danger of collapse.

At the October Minatare City Council meeting, building inspector Sam Klassert said if this winter brings a heavy snow, the roof would probably come down. If that happened, the front of the building facing Main Street could also collapse.

Repeated attempts to contact the building’s owner, who lives in Colorado, have been unsuccessful.

At the October meeting, City Attorney Audrey Elliott said because the owner has failed to respond, the city has the legal right to post a sign on the building declaring the city’s intent of entering the building for an inspection for potential asbestos contamination. Another certified letter would also be sent to the owner informing him of the date of inspection.

That inspection has since been completed by Panhandle Geotechnical and asbestos was found in the building, which dates back to 1924, No estimate has been calculated yet as to the cost of asbestos removal.

The city then asked for bids from contractors who could remove the structure. At the Nov. 17 meeting, council members accepted a bid from Russell Excavation for $17,730. However, the bid doesn’t include the cost of removing the asbestos. Minatare Utilities Superintendent Tom Case said the city would request a waiver from the Nebraska Department of Health Human Services for standard demolition procedures. Minatare would like to take down the building similar to the former Lane Auction House in Gering.

Earlier this year, Gering used a fire truck to keep the site wet while it was being demolished. Keeping the site wet helps minimize any dust and contaminants from going airborne.

So until the city hears back from HHS, the building will remain a hazard along Minatare’s Main Street. Once the building has been removed, demolition costs would be applied as a lien on the property.

The removal of several other condemned properties was also on the council agenda. Members voted to wait until the downtown property was removed. That will also give the city time to investigate possible grant funding from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to help defray the costs.
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