Friday, January 17, 2014
The mountains of bricks that have been a part of the 700 block of Front Street since late September will soon begin to be removed.
That’s because the Department of Health and Environmental Control has given the OK to two of the businesses – Colonial Floral Fascinations and Harborwalk Books – to begin debris removal.
Shortly after the Sept. 25 fire, DHEC told the property owners they could not remove any of the bricks and other debris until asbestos testing took place.
DHEC officials met with the business owners and city leaders Wednesday and announced no asbestos is being detected at the two businesses that have been cleared.
Very small amounts are still being detected at the former sites of Doodle Bugs, Zest Restaurant and Buzz’s Roost.
“Even those businesses have been partially cleared,”, said Vida Miller, chairwoman of Waccamaw Regional Council of Government’s board of directors.
She said even with the trace amounts of asbestos still being detected in some places, DHEC has declared there is no health hazard to the public.
Nevertheless, the minor amounts of asbestos that remains must be treated by licensed contractors, Miller said.
Jeanette Ard, owner of Colonial Florist, said she plans to begin debris removal from her site as early as this week.
She said large Dumpsters will be set up near the brick piles.
“It has been a slow process because of all the red tape we have to go through,” Miller said. “But there has been great cooperation between the city, the state and the property owners. Everyone is anxious to get a resolution to all of this.”
Miller said there will be another meeting with property owners in a couple of weeks to continue to the talks about how to move forward.