Tonight's vote could be a killer for Keller

Sandusky city commissioners are poised to select a construction company to raze what is arguably the area’s most dangerous building.
Andy Ouriel
Oct 15, 2013


Independence Excavating — located in Independence, Ohio — submitted a bid of $448,500 to demolish the Keller Buildingand remove asbestos inside it sometime next year.

Seven other companies also submitted bids, all of which exceeded Independence’s price.

A vote by the seven city commissioners during a public meeting is slated for 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 222 Meigs St.   Sandusky officials originally pegged the cost for demolition and asbestos removal at $550,000. The city intends to borrow up to $400,000 from tax revenue generated by the Chesapeake Lofts and $150,000 in city funds.

Click HERE to download and read tonight's city commission agenda

Construction costs, however, could still reach $500,000, despite Independence’s bid price coming in at almost $100,000 under the previous estimate.

“Due to the uncertainty of underground conditions … and a variety of other possible unknown conditions typical of downtown demolition projects, it is very important to have a contingency for this project,” Sandusky engineer Aaron Klein wrote in a memo to commissioners.

Fears about safety risks peaked in February 2012 when a brick fell from the abandoned Keller Building’s chimney and plummeted several stories onto West Shoreline Drive. No one was injured.

Bricks have routinely fallen from the structure, and city officials have blocked off the street — a main corridor leading from the Paper District Marina into the downtown business district — since then.

Bids collected
Governments typically bid out projects to create a competitive marketplace in which multiple companies can try to underbid each other without sacrificing quality, saving taxpayer dollars.

These are the companies that submitted bids to demolish the Keller Building:

• Baumann Enterprises; Garfield Heights: $516,900

• B & B Wrecking & Excavating, Cleveland: $527,000

• Dore & Associates Contracting; Bay City, Mich.: $517,700

• Ed Burdue & Co.; Sandusky: $579,100

• Empire Dismantlement; Grand Island, N.Y.: $837,000

• Independence Excavating; Independence: $448,500

• Marko Demolition & Crushing; Genoa: $544,900

• Total Wrecking & Environmental; Buffalo, N.Y.: $596,000

Source: Sandusky engineering department


VTX Rider

I am interested in learning how much of the taxpayer's money was spent in propping up the property and paying for studies to determine it's viability. Where can I find this information?

Licorice Schtick

You could start by asking what the city paid for the building, and to whom. And why instead of paying for it, they didn't just condemn it, if they were not going to properly secure (i.e., "mothball") it.

Then ask, once the neglect-induced self-destruction was well underway, who was paid how much to fix it, what was actually done, and was any of it competently executed or effective in the slightest?

The article says this is "arguably the area’s most dangerous building" but no such argument has been credibly made anywhere. Maybe it's about time someone did, if it is indeed possible. I recall no such facts in SR reports. Did I miss something?

This debacle has been a struggle between those who see potential in the building, and those who want it gone, and the victims are the taxpayers and our historic legacy.


E-mail the city treasurer and ask for the past expenses on the Keller Building which is public information all for the asking.

Eph 2 8-10

Killer? The building has been dead for years.....