EPD halts Heritage House work - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

EPD halts Heritage House work

January 11, 2007

Albany  --  Work on the renovation at the Heritage House Hotel in Albany has been stopped because asbestos was found in the debris. Renovation work on the old hotel was stopped December 15th. 

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division told WALB that the owner, Marvin Baptiste, and his contractor, McCray and McCray, did not contact them to give a proper notification of demolition, or have a certified asbestos inspection done on the property before demolition began.

An asbestos survey was done when a problem was detected, and the lab detected asbestos in "most of the building." EPD inspectors checked the Heritage House December 21st, and they agreed that the demolition needed to be stopped, and a certified asbestos removal company was needed to clean up the site.

EPD supervisors say an investigation into the lack of notification continues, and the company could be fined. The Hotel was built in 1966, and closed in the early 1990's. 

It was re-opened in 1994 for a short time to house flood victims. We talked with several people who live and work around the hotel, most said they were not worried about the asbestos, but hoped the eyesore would be renovated.

"I'm hoping a star will shine over that building one day, and somebody can put something in that building that can really boost the downtown economy," said Neighbor Norma Smith.

 Most of the debris cleaned out of the Heritage House was dumped at the landfill.  EPD officials say there should be no danger from the asbestos to anyone near the building or at the landfill.

We could not contact the building owner, Marvin Baptiste.  The contractor doing the renovation, McCray and McCray, said they would not talk to us about the asbestos until January 23rd.

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