Closed plant soon to be demolished
ASHLAND -- Demolition of the closed AK Steel coke plant in Ashland could begin as early as Monday, said City Commissioner Kevin Gunderson.
The company has the necessary permits to begin the demolition this week, Gunderson said.
The plant shut down last year, putting about 100 company employees out of work. The closure also impacted about 250 contract employees.
The 85-acre parcel currently has an assessed value of $6,918,700, according to the office of Boyd County Property Valuation Administrator. The property is located along the Ohio River and has access to the river, CSX railroad line and U.S. 23. Company records said the site off Winchester Avenue has 138 acres.
"I think it's property that can be redeveloped," Gunderson said. "I would like to get the property cleaned up. I want to see another use for the property. I'm certain the city would offer incentives to develop it. The property already has the infrastructure in place. It's located across the street from the city water plant."
The company has signed a contract with NCM Demolition and Redemption of Charlotte, N.C., said Barry L. Racey, an AK Steel spokesman. "The work will begin soon and take until mid 2013," he said. "Their company specializes in industrial demolition."
Racey said it would be "premature" to discuss the company's plan for the property and whether it would be available for sale.
"I would love to see it developed," said Chuck Charles, the lone candidate for Ashland mayor in the November general election. "It's prime land. There are tons of potential for that , but it needs to be done right. If they want to sell it, or give it to the city, we need a strategic plan to develop it.