London Police Officer Brad Alkire stood at the curb in front of 239 W. High St. Thursday morning as the track hoe of Finchum Excavating took huge bites out of the one-story home.
As reported in Thursday’s Press, the property had been condemned by the Madison County-London City Health District. The police department was asked to be present for the demolition as a precaution against any potential interference of the property owner.
William Shaw, who in January purchased the property from John Gibboney, initially expressed objection to the tear down. He said the house was salvageable. Officers responded to the address at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday to resolve a confrontation between Shaw and Terry Rister of H&H Environmental, the police log shows.
There were no incidents on the scene Thursday, police said.
But the house is not salvageable, said Joe Johnson, who is administering the grant funding the clean-up of blighted properties in London and Mount Sterling. He did a walk-through before the track hoe began work and described the inside of the house as “trashed.”
H&H Environmental removed asbestos at a cost of $2,500, Johnson said. This expense was covered by the Moving Ohio Forward grant. The expense of the demolition is also covered by the grant.
Johnson said all debris will be removed, the ground leveled and seeded at no apparent expense to Shaw.
“It’s a win-win,” Johnson said. The owner gets a cleared lot ready to build thereon and the city disposes of a blighted structure.
One blighted structure in London remains to be torn down, Johnson said. Demolition will conclude by May 31.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 17 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.