SIKESTON - Work could begin on the old First Baptist Church demolition project as early as mid or late October.
"We should be in a position to have awarded the bid and maybe begin on the asbestos removal," said Tom Bridger, Sikeston's public works director.
Having been approved for a Community Development Block Grant to help fund the demolition of the church, which is located on South Kingshighway, and three houses, city officials met Monday with Joe E. Lane, director of community planning for the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission at Malden, to see what can be done to expedite the project. BRPC was awarded the bid to administer the grant.
"We got the $155,000," said Mike Bohannon, LCRA chairman. "The grant is approved." The total cost for demolition of the church and three homes, the required asbestos removal at the church and administration for the grant is $236,000. Local matching funds will be added to the grant money to cover the difference.
Lane recommended city officials touch base with contractors to see if asbestos removal can be combined with the demolition of the church building. "If that's positive, I would recommend you combine the two," Lane said.
"Asbestos is expensive to remove," Bridger said. "Sometimes it's in the floor, sometimes it's in the roof...it can be in several places in the building."
Window caulk, window glaze, roof flashing, spray-on ceiling, flex duct and floor tilings are all potential places for asbestos at the church. "The 9-by-9 (floor tiles) are normally asbestos," Bridger said. There is also additional tipping fees for dumping asbestos at landfills due to regulations on how it must be covered, he said.
The bidding process takes about 30 days, according to Bridger. Plan specifications for the bids will be ready within a week so bids can be published Sept. 8. The bid notifications must then run for three weeks.
"You are required to advertise in a local, high circulation newspaper," Lane advised.
"Then on the fourth week we can open our bids," Bohannon said.
Lane recommended compiling a list of contractors who do asbestos removal to send bid packets to "so you can be ensured of the minimum number of bids." He also offered to forward a list of contractors working on projects in the Cape Girardeau area. Bridger said bid opportunities are also now posted on the city's Web site.
A 45-day period for environmental review is also required for the church, according to Lane. "The environmental review process is under way as we speak," he said.
Lane confirmed that LCRA officials do not have to wait until the environmental review period is over before beginning the bidding process. By having the bid process completed during the environmental review, "we can be ready to hit the ground running," Bohannon said.
While asbestos is being removed from the church, the LCRA can begin demolition on the three single-family homes that are also included in the grant project if they are found to have no or very little asbestos. "Sometimes the amount may be inconsequential," Bridger said.
"I think it's a shame that church has deteriorated to the present condition," Mayor Mike Marshall said.