California Falling Down

1 decade 2 years 6 months ago Thursday, September 06 2007 Sep 6, 2007 Thursday, September 06, 2007 2:59:55 PM CDT September 06, 2007 in News

The state announced the City of California received a grant to take down the dangerous building. Built of civil war stone, the Jackson Building in downtown California is dying.

California resident John Kay remembers his more youthful days as a grocery store.

"It was the sort of place that not only the people that lived around here, but the kids would go in and buy a piece of candy or would be sent down by their mom to buy a loaf of bread," explained Kay. But years of neglect have lead to tumble down bricks and shattered windows.

Then a month ago, after more than 150 years, of service the old buildings roof collapsed.

"There was a cloud of plaster dust that shot out like a bomb had exploded," said Kay.

The city declared the site dangerous and slated it for destruction. The state is giving California $85,000 to help bring the Jackson Building down. The money will pay for most of the demolition, clean up and site restoration.

But officials estimate the city will have to kick in another $15,000 to complete the project. In the meantime, city officials closed this downtown street to keep people out of harm's way.

"The longer this building stands, the greater potential for it to become more of a public safety hazard. So we're real fortunate for them to be able to assist us so we can get this through just as quickly as possible before something else could happen," said California Fire Chief Allen Smith.

The city hopes to tear down the building in the next few months, but first it must go through a competitive bid process to find a contractor.

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