Asbestos could delay old jail’s razing

Marion County’s plans to raze its former jail by year’s end may have hit a snag.

Environmental health director Tonya Richards confirmed Monday that all six tests she performed on insulation from ducts in the old jail were positive for asbestos.

Under state law, the county must hire a licensed removal firm to get rid of the asbestos before it can demolish the building.

Seven other tests Richards performed on walls and surfaces were negative.

“It’s actually good news,” Commissioner Dan Holub said. “I was afraid it was the whole building.”

Commissioners voted to seek bids from licensed removal firms and to ask a formerly licensed remover, Stuart Isaac of Supreme Floor in Hillsboro, whether he might be interested in renewing his license and bidding.

The commission also is seeking bids on 420 feet of fencing to be installed around the new jail.

Portions of the fence will, according to the commissioners, meet contractual obligations to provide a privacy fence shielding the jail from nearby property owners.

However, the commission is looking to possibly extend the fence around the entire jail.

“It just finishes it off,” Holub said, “but if it’s too much, we’ll just do the contractual requirements.”

The six-foot concrete fence that the commissioners envision is designed to shield the jail from view. However, nearby property owner Darvin Markley has contended that local terrain dictates that an eight-foot fence is needed to fully shield it from view.

Bids will be due Aug. 12. Construction is to be completed by Sept. 30.

Despite the commissioners’ disagreement with Markley, his business, Markley Service, won the low bid for two chemicals ordered for the noxious weed department Monday. Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro was low bidder for two other chemicals.

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