Old Upstate Mill Buildings Require Permit, Money To Tear Down - WSPA.com

Old Upstate Mill Buildings Require Permit, Money To Tear Down

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Old Mill Buildings in the Upstate are more than just eyesores. They're also dangerous, often only demolished after they've caught fire.

"Well why don't they just tear it on down?" asks Edith Ouzts. a resident of Ninety Six.

Ouzts worked most of her adult life in mills in Greenwood County. She and her husband met at the Ninety Six Cotton Mill. She still lives in the mill village in Ninety Six.

"We used to have a thriving little town but now there's nothing left up there at all," Ouzts says.

The Ninety Six Mill caught fire in the 90's and was demolished. There are still several buildings on the property now owned by the town.

The town wants to turn the property into a park but it can't right now because they're still trying to weave through the process of demolition.

"We can only move as fast as fast as DHEC, our government regulations will let us move," says Town Mayor Arvest Turner.

Before any building in South Caroline is demolished the Department of Health and Environmental Control has to conduct an inspection. In many cases these old buildings contain lead based paints. There's also a concern of asbestos.

The biggest concern for Ninety Six is funding. The first item to pay for is a certified inspection.

"I got one bid from an engineering firm and it was $5,600 just to come look at it," Mayor Turner says.

Then they have to pay for demolition. The town is applying for grants to help them get funding.

 

Asbestos occurs naturally and can cause breathing problems. Anyone looking to do demolition or renovation should have their site looked at for asbestos. More information from DHEC about asbestos can be found here.

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