Bids reportedly sought for demolition of GM plant

Bids reportedly sought for demolition of GM plant

By LAURA BOMYEA
JOHNSON NEWSPAPERS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2010

 

 

MASSENA — A number of contractors toured the General Motors Powertrain plant Wednesday and were asked to prepare estimates for the demolition of the 50-year-old facility, according to several sources.

According to an internal demolition proposal, the entire 900,000-square-foot factory would be razed, an outbuilding torn down and an on-site water tower dismantled.

Officials from Motors Liquidation Corp., which assumed ownership of the facility following GM’s June bankruptcy filing, would neither confirm nor deny that the meeting took place or that the liquidation group has made the decision to raze the plant.

"We’re not commenting on activities at specific sites until we have a final plan in place," spokesman Steve C. Blow said Friday. "We’re working with local stakeholders, with the city, with the (Environmental Protection Agency) and others to get a plan in place, but we do not have a final one yet."

 

Several other sources confirmed that the tour was held for major contractors from around the country, many of whom specialize in large-scale demolition projects, and that a demolition proposal has been circulated outlining the structures slated for destruction.

It was not clear whether any local contractors were included in the tour or were approached about providing estimates for demolition. Central Trades and Labor Council President Ronald P. McDougall deferred to Motors Liquidation Corp. for any comments on whether local union labor would be used on the project.

Because the building is known to contain extensive contamination, including polychlorinated biphenyls, lead and asbestos, EPA officials have said they would continue to provide oversight of any type of demolition or cleanup activity. The GM site has been a federally designated Superfund site since the 1980s.

EPA project manager Anne E. Kelly said the decision to tear down the facility or leave it standing would be left up to the property owner.

During a North Country Redevelopment Task Force meeting Thursday that she attended by phone, Ms. Kelly said the federal agency continues to work with Motors Liquidation to determine the best approach to remediating the site, whether the firm decides to leave the buildings up while continuing the search for a buyer or tear them down to save on mothballing costs.

Company officials have said the shuttered facility costs them upwards of $2.2 million per year in utility costs and upkeep. Ms. Kelly said the company may consider demolishing the building as a way to avoid continuing to incur such high costs.

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