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Plant demolition continues in city

Intermet crews continue the demolition of the Ironton Iron foundry, but city officials remain hopeful for the site’s future.

Monday, November 13, 2000

Intermet crews continue the demolition of the Ironton Iron foundry, but city officials remain hopeful for the site’s future.

Interment officials began demolition on the entire 25.5-acre facility in mid-August after no offers were made to buy the former iron foundry, according to the company.

Officials said the decision was based on the company’s responsibility to maintain its properties and to dispose of anything not needed for the operation of other foundries.

They also projected the project would take six months to complete, Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said.

"It appears they are moving along smoothly," Cleary said. "From what I’ve been told, they’re running right on schedule."

He said crews working on the project have caused minimal complaints.

"We have had complaints on dust from the buildings they’re tearing down," he said. "That’s to be expected. Interment is trying to be very conscientious of the neighbors in the area and they’re trying to keep the dust down to a minimum. They are complying with city codes and I feel they are being very considerate of the neighborhoods."

Intermet closed the facility this past spring after officials entered into preliminary discussions with potential investors and indicated a willingness to sell the Ironton Iron foundry to a qualified buyer for $1.

Intermet officials announced its offer as one way to help the community deal with the company’s shutdown, but stressed that the proposal hinged on finding a buyer that could demonstrate it could operate the plant and would assume any and all liabilities of the plant in "as-is" condition.

Intermet said it would not actively look for a buyer, however, federal legislators joined with city, county and state leaders in saying the plan might result in another industry at the foundry site.

Intermet spokesperson Mike Kelly said officials have no future plans for the site, but would consider a firm offer from potential buyers of the land.

Currently, several companies are interested in the site, Cleary said.

"We have had several companies inquiring about permits and the zoning of the property," he said. "The biggest concern these companies have had is the zoning. The property is zoned as industrial manufacturing so just about anyone could do what they wanted with the property."

He said he has not been able to contact Interment officials, but remains optimistic that they will sell the land to one of the potential companies should they be interested.

"There is some interest out there on the land, and that’s real encouraging," Cleary said. "But, I’m not sure what Interment’s objectives are."