- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Mayor AJ Hashmi has asked city manager John Godwin to determine if it would be less expensive for the City of Paris to train its own work force to remove asbestos from buildings scheduled for demolition.
At Monday night’s council meeting, the mayor rejected a report from finance director Gene Anderson, who handled city manager duties on an interim basis for 17 months prior to Godwin’s taking over the reins in May. Hashmi said he wanted the new city manager’s input.
“I have read what is written, and it is totally confusing to me – kind of a “We don’t want to do it” kind of reason,” Hashmi said before any discussion could occur on Anderson’s report on what it would cost for the city to certify a work force trained for asbestos removal rather than hire someone else to do it.
In Anderson’s report to the council, he repeated from an earlier council meeting his estimates of the cost to train and license an asbestos-removal crew — $1,515 for a worker, $2,585 for a supervisor, and $3,010 for a contractor. It would also cost $443 for a transporter license.
Also, Anderson said, there is some concern about whether the city would be able to retain workers after paying to certify them for asbestos abatement.
In his follow-up report on Monday, Anderson said asbestos coverage is excluded from the city’s general liability insurance, and that additional cost “has not been determined.”
Also, by state law, Anderson said, any work performed must be supervised by a Texas Department of State Health Services licensed consultant.
“The city cannot act as its own consultant. The consultant’s fee typically runs about 28 percent of a private contractor’s charge for abatement and demolition,” Anderson said.
Current Environmental Protection Agency and TDSHS rules require that an asbestos survey be performed prior to demolition or renovation, Anderson added.
“This survey typically would cost around $1,000, but could be more for a large structure.”
Licensing for asbestos abatement and demolition work is required only for buildings that are subject to public occupancy or to which the general public has access.
Anderson listed eight such buildings in Paris as a “partial list” of potential public building demolitions “that have or would likely have an asbestos problem.”
Inclusion on the list does not mean the current owners would not deal with the problem, Anderson said.
“However, each of these buildings has some deterioration that will have to be addressed at some point.”
Hashmi asked that Godwin come back to the council with figures on what it would cost for the city to abate the asbestos in the eight buildings that Anderson listed “as opposed to bidding it out.”
Until recently, Cherry Street Manor was tied up in court and the city was prohibited from tearing it down.
That’s no longer the case, and the council has indicated it is ready to consider demolishing the long-abandoned former nursing home.
Hashmi has asked that the council first decide whether it would save money to qualify its own abatement crew.
The mayor entertained a motion that the asbestos abatement issue be tabled until such a time as the city manager is able to bring back a comparative cost analysis.
District 3 councilman John Wright made the motion, and District 6 councilwoman Cleonne Drake added the second. The motion carried by a 5-0 vote, with councilmen Richard Grossnickle and Matt Frierson absent.
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