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Grain elevator demolished

Tom Jackson • Feb 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

An old grain elevator that had been labeled a safety hazard and an eyesore has become history.

Last month, the Norfolk Southern railroad company tore down the Kimball grain elevator on Delamatre Road west of RansomRoad in Oxford Township. Oxford Township’s trustees and the Erie County Health Department had been pushing for demolition for months.

Last year, Norfolk Southern boarded up the building, but officials didn’t feel that action was sufficient.

James Stewart, an Oxford Township trustee, said the building was a safety hazard and an eyesore.

He said trustees were afraid children would go on the derelict property and hurt themselves.

“Kimball is the most populated area in Oxford. There are probably 30 kids under 16. I’m only guessing” Stewart said. “I see kids on bicycles there all the time. I was worried about that”

Bob England, director of environmental health for the Erie County Health Department, said Norfolk Southern officials agreed to demolish the building. England said the health department had been willing to pursue legal action to make that happen, but it wasn’t necessary.

“The railroad worked well with us on that,” Stewart said. “They were very cooperative” Dave Pidgeon, Norfolk Southern’s spokesman for Ohio, said the railroad generally doesn’t say much about real estate matters. But he said Norfolk Southern’s action in demolishing the decrepit grain elevator is consistent with the company’s commitment. “Safety is our top priority,” Pidgeon said.

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