The city is beginning to remove asbestos and other hazardous materials from a six-family home to prepare it for demolition, about eight months after it acquired the building.
Work to remove hazardous materials is expected to continue through Thanksgiving. The building is expected to be torn down starting the first week in December, said Mary Moge, mayoral chief of staff.
The job is expected to be completed by the end of December, she said.
The home at 269 Front St., which is two buildings down the street from City Hall, went up for sale about a year ago. Mayor Richard J. Kos proposed purchasing the building as part of a long-discussed plan to expand parking for City Hall and the downtown.
The City Council approved the plan to acquire the building through the eminent domain process. The city purchased the home in March for $140,000 from the estate of Josephine Peters.
After that the city hired Cardno ATC for $12,440 to evaluate the building for hazardous waste and prepare it for demolition. The contract for the removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials and the demolition is for $101,000 and the work will be done by Associated Building Wreckers, of Springfield, said Brian Salamon, purchasing agent for the city.
The city will still have to improve the lot before it can be used for parking.
The city previously acquired the building next to the 296 Front St., demolished it and turned it into a small public parking lot. Kos said he hopes to eventually acquire the building next to City Hall, which is a single room occupancy building owned by the Valley Opportunity Council, and connect the three parcels with the existing City Hall lot.
"The increased parking will be available for both municipal and business purposes in the area," according to the mayor's office.