Of­fal plant be­ing de­mol­ished

Two Car­bon­ear busi­ness men be­gin de­mo­li­tion of crum­bling struc­ture

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.Jenk­ins@tc.tc

An eye­sore of a build­ing on Car­bon­ear’s south side is fi­nally be­ing torn down. The Com­pass learned last week that the old of­fal plant had been sold, and the new own­ers im­me­di­ately called in the heavy equip­ment to be­ing dis­man­tling the sta­dium sized struc­ture.

An iconic build­ing in the Town of Car­bon­ear that has stood aban­doned and unkept for nearly a decade has of­fi­cially been sold to two Car­bon­ear busi­ness­men.

Late last week one of two new own­ers of the of­fal plant, known to lo­cals as the “meal plant,” con­firmed the pur­chase, but wished to keep de­tails of their iden­ti­ties con­fi­den­tial at this time.

The plant, lo­cated at 71 Lower South Side Road, has been re­ferred to as an “eye­sore” by some towns­peo­ple due to the ap­palling ex­te­rior, which lost part of its roof and some me­tal sid­ing in re­cent years.

It was left in such a de­te­ri­o­rated state that the town coun­cil or­dered a de­mo­li­tion or­der for the site last fall.

The new pur­chaser said they were both aware the or­der was in place when they bought the struc­ture and de­cided to de­mol­ish it rather than re­pair the ex­ces­sive dam­age.

“We knew about the de­mo­li­tion or­der be­fore we pur­chased the prop­erty,” he told The Com­pass. “We’re just ba­si­cally knock­ing it down, clean­ing it up and wait­ing to see what we’re go­ing to do with it next.”

The plant was pre­vi­ously owned by a com­pany known as Is­land ByProd­ucts.

De­mo­li­tion be­gins

De­mo­li­tion on the site be­gan May 20 when a con­tract­ing com­pany be­gan work on the site.

Mayor Sam Slade is de­lighted by the news due to the safety con­cerns present with any aban­doned build­ing ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic, es­pe­cially one with equip­ment still in­side.

“We’re pleased to see it com­ing down,” he said. “It was a haven for kids, and the con­cern was they were go­ing to go in and knock heavy equip­ment down on them­selves.”

Stand­ing on the hill­side be­side what re­mains of the plant, de­bris and piles of me­tal can be seen, but not for long.

The pur­chaser said Stage 1 was to re­move all the me­tal from the build- ing and go from there, but he and his busi­ness part­ner de­cided to take it one step fur­ther.

“We de­cided just this week­end to have (the con­trac­tors) take down the works of it,” the owner ex­plained.

One side of the struc­ture has al­ready been re­moved, and yel­low cau­tion tape has been put up to de­ter tres­passers.

Lock­ers and heavy equip­ment that re­mained in­side have now been moved, and many of the large pieces of pro­cess­ing equip­ment will be re­moved in the com­ing days.

Plans for the site

The pur­chaser said he and his busi­ness part­ner bought the plant for the prop­erty, but their plans for the lot are still un­de­ter­mined.

“We have no firm de­ci­sion on what we’re go­ing to do,” he stated.

The pur­chaser said he has heard plenty of ru­mours around the town on what should hap­pen with the prop­erty. One of those ru­mours is for wa­ter­front properties, more specif­i­cally con­dos.

“We don’t know what we are go­ing to do right now, but that is a pos­si­bil­ity of what we can do with the prop­erty,” he said, “But like I said, we have to get it cleaned up first, then we’ll as­sess what we have room for.”

The de­vel­op­ment will not be­gin un­til at least early next year be­cause the pur­chaser said it “takes time” for mak­ing de­ci­sions, de­sign­ing plans and get­ting per­mits. Con­fu­sion over sold sta­tus Of­fi­cials with the town have been tight-lipped over the sale of the prop­erty.

Town Ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis said in an email to The Com­pass the town could not re­lease any in­for­ma­tion on if or when the sale took place, or to whom un­til ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion is sup­plied to them.

“The town can’t con­firm any­thing on a sale un­til a sup­ple­men­tary as­sess­ment is re­ceived from the Mu­nic­i­pal As­sess­ment Agency,” she wrote.

Even Mayor Sam Slade did not know the site was sold.

He said he didn’t think the plant had “changed hands,” and still be­longed to the pre­vi­ous own­ers.

When con­tacted, Blair Janes of P. Janes and Sons, one of the com­pa­nies af­fil­i­ated with Is­land By-Prod­ucts, de­clined comment, stat­ing it was a busi­ness mat­ter.

A lit­tle piece of his­tory

Many res­i­dents of Car­bon­ear re­mem­ber the of­fal plant for its strong smell, but it was a build­ing with plenty of his­tory in the town.

Town records state the plant was opened in the 1970s as a pro­cess­ing plant for the dis­carded fish parts from other pro­cess­ing plants in the re­gion, and cre­ated up to 100 sea­sonal jobs.

Fish pro­cess­ing was a very im­por­tant part of Car­bon­ear’s econ­omy un­til the col­lapse of cod stocks in the early 1990s, then crab and seal pro­cess­ing be­came more ap­par­ent un­til the plant closed its doors nearly a decade ago.

The plant was even men­tioned in the fic­tion novel “Hon­our Thy Mother” by T.C. Bad­cock.

The in­side of the build­ing still con­tained worker’s lock­ers and heavy equip­ment that had been used up un­til the plant closed.

Even with all its his­tory, many res­i­dents are happy to see the build­ing re­moved, and some are look­ing for­ward to what may even­tu­ally be built in its place.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/spe­cial to The Com­pass

Work on the de­mo­li­tion on the Car­bon­ear of­fal plant on Lower South Side Road be­gan May 20 af­ter be­ing left un­touched for nearly a decade.

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