Sands Dorsey demolition hitting roadblocks

City officials continue to work on a way to demolish and dispose of the Sands Dorsey building in a way that is financially responsible for the residents of Tucumcari.

"We have not walked away from this project," said City Manager Doug Powers.

Powers said recently the city had a waiver denied by the New Mexico Solid Waste Bureau. He said the waiver was a request to allow the city to place the debris of the demolished building in their new landfill.

Powers said the reason the waiver was submitted was the Albuquerque-based engineering firm WHPacific had done a second evaluation of the site. He said WHPacific had evaluated the site after it destroyed by a fire in June 2007.

Powers said the city opted to bring the firm back to re-evaluate the site after a second fire in May damaged the building further. He said WHPacific reports showed less than one percent of the buildings debris was hazardous.

"We thought with the low percentage, a waiver might be approved by the solid waste bureau," Powers said.

Powers said the city has been making some progress; the city's attorney has been in contact with the owner's attorney in efforts for a resolution. He said previous attempts to contact owner Robert Hengstenberg had been unsuccessful.

"It seems that one option presents itself then two more road blocks appear shortly after," Powers said.

Powers said it's an extremely complicated process with several state agencies including the air quality and solid waste bureaus being involved. He said it has been a challenge to get them all to come together in agreement.

Powers said Coronado Wrecking and Salvage of Albuquerque has been recommended for the demolition. He said he intends to contact them and ask them to come down and evaluate the site.

Powers said the bottom line is the cost will be close to $500,000, which the city simply does not have and he would not want to burden the residents with the accrued debt. He said much of that cost is due to the disposal. The debris would have to be taken to a certified landfill in Texas or near Hobbs.

Powers said he recently learned of another option, which may be available in the New Year. He said Clovis has applied for a special waste landfill, which would be certified to hold the hazardous debris from the building.

The City of Clovis applied for a special waste landfill in 2010, said Justin Howalt, city engineer.

Howalt said the application proposes the construction of the special waste landfill adjacent to the current landfill on Brady Street. He said a public hearing was held on Dec. 5 to inform the residents, governmental agencies and business near that location about the proposed landfill.

Howalt said the findings of that hearing and the recommendation of approval by the head of solid waste bureau Auralie Ashley-Marx has been submitted to New Mexico Environment Department Secretary David Martin for final approval.

If approved the landfill will be permitted to accept hazardous material including asbestos and petroleum soaked soil.

"It would be a tremendous cost savings to haul the material to Clovis," Powers said.

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