An Albuquerque engineering firm recommends the demolition of the historic Sands-Dorsey building for safety reasons.
WHPacific conducted an environmental assessment on the building at the request of the city.
Community Development Director Doug Powers informed the Tucumcari City Council on Thursday that many of the samples of the building materials contained lead and asbestos.
The city issued property owner Bob Hengstenberg a 90-day notice to mitigate the public safety risk in June 2007 when the building was damaged by a fire.
Hengstenberg has requested a public hearing before the Nov. 14 city council to oppose the demolition.
The city has placed a $7,000 lean on the property to cover the cost of purchasing and installing of the fence surrounding the building, Tucumcari City Manager John Sutherland said.
Sutherland said a lean will also more than likely be put in place to cover the cost of the engineering service, which is $68,000.
WHPacific was brought in to do the assessment to determine if the building was a hazard to the public, Powers said on Friday.
“All of the debris has to be treated as contaminated material,” Powers said. “The building is a hazard to the city’s residents.”
The city has been exploring options for the Sands-Dorsey, Sutherland said Friday.
“For over a year the city has tried to find a way to ensure the public’s safety,” Sutherland said.
Originally the city was told by an engineer that braces could be placed in the building to abate public safety concerns, Sutherland said.
“I knew that there was a problem when no reputable engineer would sign their name supporting the bracing of the building,” Sutherland said.
Powers informed the council that special precautions and requirements would have to be observed during the demolition and removal of the hazardous building material.
The materials will have to be hauled to a landfill equipped to handle asbestos, like the one in Canyon, Texas, Powers said.
The special circumstances of this proposed demolition will cost the city a lot of money, Sutherland said.
The asbestos will become a danger if it becomes airborne, that is why the building will have to be watered down during demolition, Powers said.
“The moisture will add to the cost of transporting the material,” Powers said.
Powers said similar hazardous materials were removed from the Tucumcari Depot and transported to the landfill in Canyon at a cost of $120,000.
The difference between the Depot and Sands-Dorsey is the work environment, Powers said.
Workers could remove the hazardous material from the depot without fear of the building collapsing on them.