The structure that housed the business at the corner of Walnut and Main Streets collapsed during the evening hours of Thursday, April 23. An asbestos study was completed on the rubble where testing found the debris positive for the presence of asbestos.
The owner, Courtney Hardin, has 30 days to clean up the property. She will need to appear before the commissioners for the public hearing and comply with the demolition order.
County Attorney Kevin Tankersley spoke with the commissioners last night and told them that the question of responsibility of the cleanup cost is the current situation. The county is the hearing authority of the property. Building Administrator Dave Dare already purchased fencing plus funded the asbestos study at a cost of $4,000. Tankersley said that the county could pursue Hardin to recoup the cost. However, the owner has expressed an inability to pay for the cleanup.
Dave Weber from the building and zoning department told the commissioners that it would be likely that his department handles the cleanup of the area.
If Hardin cannot repay the county for the cost of cleanup, which includes the oversight of asbestos removal, Tankersley said he hopes to talk to the attorney of the Town of Monterey so the county and the town can split the cost. Ultimately, the county can pursue a judgment and file a lien on the property to try and gather costs associated with the cleanup.
Until then, no part of the debris can be touched for fear of the asbestos becoming airborne and affecting the health of the citizens of Monterey.
The public hearing is Monday, June 1 at 6:35 p.m. ET in the commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the Pulaski County Courthouse.