Hannibal to use city crews to tear down old sewer plant

The City of Hannibal has decided to tear down several old buildings that were once part of the city's sewer treatment plant that was located along Bear Creek near Nipper Park.

Now the buildings appear to have become a place for the city's homeless as well as vandals.

The buildings have sat along Bear Creek for decades and the only thing that was moving near the old treatment plant on Tuesday morning was a passing freight train. But since 1981, the old sewer plant has stood vacant and now the city wants to tear down the old buildings.

"There are opportunities for people to get stuck in there and not be able to get out. There's opportunities for people to fall. These are very old buildings. They're all open air, there's no doors or windows. They're pretty dangerous, so we're going to take them down and be rid of the nuisance once and for all," Hannibal City Manager Jeff LaGarce said.

The old sewer plant was constructed back in 1941 and was replaced by the current sewer plant in the early 80s. Right now, there's evidence that the only people who make their way into the old buildings are vandals and the homeless. Blankets and jackets are visible and that poses a problem for the city when it comes to potential liability. They thought about using a private contractor for the demolition, but instead, city crews will take the buildings down.

"Yeah for a couple of years now we've had to go down and board up the buildings. We've had vandals and people getting into these buildings and we're afraid someone is going to get hurt. The need to constantly board up these buildings is becoming very time consuming, we're really not been in the position to demolish these buildings because it would be very expensive," LaGarce said.

The city plans to use the old brick and stone from the demolition of the buildings to fill in the old deep sewer pits. The stones are considered clean fill and a use like that is allowed under law.

City crews should start tearing down the buildings in the next week or two.