Fort Payne hopes for grant to demolish old hospital - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Fort Payne hopes for grant to demolish old hospital

Fort Payne officials hope to demolish the old hospital. (Source: WAFF) Fort Payne officials hope to demolish the old hospital. (Source: WAFF)
FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) -

The old hospital in Fort Payne is an eyesore and needs to be torn down. The problem is where will the money come from?

It's not just the city, but the residents around the old hospital who say they want to see this structure gone.

"Oh it needs to go. There's too many people going in an out of it. It's too much of a hazard," said Joseph White, who lives across the street from the old hospital.

The former hospital in Fort Payne has sat empty for at least 10 years. City leaders say the dilapidated building is a liability. So why not condemn it and tear it down?

"There's underground fuel tanks. There's asbestos in the building. There's lead paint in the building," said Mayor Larry Chesser.

With those hazards, Chesser said it's cost prohibitive to the city.

"It appears that it will take at least a half-million dollars just to tear the place down," said Chesser.

At that expense, Chesser says state environmental officials have been assessing the site to see whether federal grant money is available for the project.

"If the environmental hazards are bad enough that it can be declared a Brownfield site," said Chesser.

And whether enough federal dollars are available, the mayor says they might be able to save some of it for something good.

"If we could take part of the basement area and make a storm shelter out of it that would be great. Get rid of most of it. The office area could be turned into a community center," he said.

Chesser said they hope to find out later this month if the site will be declared a Brownfield site.

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