First Posted: 10/14/2013
ASHLEY —The Huber Breaker will be demolished. The only question is when?
Attorney Jonathan Comitz of Shavertown said Monday the sale of the property to his client, Paselo Logistics LLC, became final on Friday.
One of the first priorities is making the property safe, Comitz said.
“The property is a mess,” Comitz said. “We want to make it safe; it’s going to take some time.”
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John J. Thomas awarded a $1.25 million bid by Paselo Logistics, billed as a trucking company in Philadelphia, during an auction on Aug. 22.
The property had been owned by No. 1 Contracting of South Main Street, Ashley, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2010 and was converted to Chapter 7 in November of that year, requiring the business to liquidate its assets, equipment and property. The breaker contains an estimated 900 tons of steel.
A court document filed Oct. 4 says it will cost $1.057 million to remove the structures and contaminated soil from the property. The quoted price by Deleo Trucking, Drilling and Blasting of Pittston was offered in April 2011. Paselo Logistics will be responsible for demolition and removal of contaminated soil.
Colleen Connolly, spokesperson for the state Department of Environmental Protection Northeast Regional Office, said there has been no paperwork filed to begin the demolition process. She said notice must be given to DEP within 10 days of the start of demolition and removal of contaminated soil.
Once the property is made safe, Comitz said, the new owners will evaluate what they want to do with the mammoth structure, one of the first sights northbound motorists see while traveling into the Wyoming Valley on Interstate 81.
“One of the first things that is going to take place is making the property safe. Then we’ll evaluate where we’re at with steel prices and the like. That structure is coming down eventually,” he said.
Comitz said DEP will be contacted when demolition is planned and contaminated soil is removed. He is also interested in talking with Ashley officials and the Huber Breaker Preservation Society, which is creating a park in honor of anthracite coal miners along South Main Street.
A monument honoring coal miners was dedicated in front of the breaker on July 4.