FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) - More than 100 years of history is coming down in Frankfort. City officials said what was most recently the Exide Battery plant should be completely demolished by December.
However, demolishing a former battery factory, which once housed hazardous chemicals, is something done with extra precaution. Frankfort Building Inspector Sam Payne is monitoring the process.
"[The plant] had lead and acid, and such materials they made the batteries with," Payne said. "[The workers] are washing down all the desks, sucking it all up, and decontaminating the whole building before taking it down."
"A large 85-foot boom will go above some of those facilities and will provide a mist down upon them so that dust stays at an absolute minimum," Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes said. "Barbed-wire fences are being put around the facility at this time to make sure no one can get into that area."
Production stopped at the plant more than 20 years ago. Exide Battery decided to demolish the buildings. News 18 called Exide Battery executives to ask why they're demolishing now. That call was not returned.
The EPA, city building inspector, and other county and city officials will monitor the project to make sure effects on residents and the environment are as little as possible.
"At the end of the day, it's a blighted area in this community, and neighborhood revitalization is of top importance," McBarnes said.
The Clinton County Chamber of Commerce just received grants to be used to help examine the land. City and county officials hope it will help determine what they can use the land for. Residents in the neighborhood have some ideas of their own.
"You drive here, and you sit on your porch in the summer, and this is all you see," Frankfort Resident Carolyn Lewis, who lives across from the plant, said. "[I] would like to see some activity over there. I would like to see a strip mall. [I could] go shopping, and do something."
McBarnes said there can be no planning about what will be built on the 145,000-square-foot lot until the buildings are completely demolished.
A Lafayette man charged with multiple bank robberies in Tippecanoe and Clinton Counties pleads guilty to a series of bank robberies in Illinois.
The drop in temperatures brings the potential for health dangers, such as hypothermia and frost bite. The bitter temperatures can pose a threat for children, adults and pets.
As it stands Wednesday, there will be no FEMA aid for tornado survivors in Howard County.