Asbestos Found in Monterey Building Rubble

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An inspector hired by the Pulaski County building inspector’s office found asbestos in the rubble of this building in downtown Monterey. It collapsed on April 23, possibly due to water damage.

There is asbestos is the rubble of a building in downtown Monterey that collapsed last month. Pulaski County Building Inspector Dave Dare shared that information with the town council during a special-called meeting last night. A contractor he hired to check the site at the southeast corner of Main and Walnut Streets found two square feet of asbestos in the duct wrap in the basement. Dare says more could be buried in the debris and will need to be disposed of in accordance with state guidelines.

Since asbestos is present, a state-licensed contractor will need to remove it before the rest of the site can be cleared. Dare also recommends having an inspector on site to check for more asbestos. He says that should take a day and will cost about $2,000. Pulaski County Commissioner Terry Young told the Monterey Town Council the commissioners have agreed to cover that expense from the county building department budget.

Before that can be done, Dare will need to send an unsafe building notice to the property owner advising the status of the property and stating a hearing will be scheduled. A date and time for that proceeding have not been set.

Meanwhile the street in front of the building is closed. Business owner Larry Loehmer asked the council when the debris can be cleared, as his hardware store is next door. Town attorney Crystal Sanders says the town is bound by state law and its due process requirements and cannot accelerate the process. Officials say they will clean the area up and reopen the street as soon as possible.