City to award bids for fire cleanup at Mi Tierra

Published 9:59 am Monday, August 3, 2009

Austin city officials are planning to open and award bids tonight for cleanup of the downtown fire site.

Bids will be opened for both asbestos abatement and demolition at the numerous Main Street properties that burned down Jan. 15.

City engineer Jon Erichson said previously that asbestos removal and other environmental work is targeted to begin by Aug. 24. Demolition would then be scheduled to begin Sept. 7 and wrap-up by Oct. 2.

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When done, the Main Street lot will be leveled and covered with grass seed, Erichson said.

Getting to this point took a settlement between property owner Maria Leon and the city, which occurred June 23.

Previously, Leon had denied the city’s requests that she clean up the site, which the city deemed “hazardous.”

The settlement allows the city to ultimately assess costs to Leon but allows Leon to review and approve bids as they come in.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated following a February announcement by police and fire officials that they suspected arson. No suspects have been named publicly.

The Austin City Council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. today in the City Council Chambers.