SIOUX CITY -- With a whack of the 6,000-pound wrecking ball, crews from Dore & Associates of Bay City, Mich., took down a Sioux City landmark Sunday morning -- the towering smokestack at the former Swift & Co. meatpacking plant.
Only a handful of people witnessed the demolition, City Manager Paul Eckert said Monday. He noted that a Dore official did not notify the news media or city officials in advance, citing safety concerns with having too many people at the site.
"He pointed out there is nothing in their contract (with the city) that requires them to notify us of when they would take down the smokestack," Eckert said.
Councilman John Fitch has said several times he had wanted to watch the demolition, but said he was not notified. Mayor Mike Hobart also expressed his disappointment that the city was not notified in advance.
The city hired photographer and videographer George Lindblade to document the demolition of what became known as the KD Station. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In order to receive federal funding for the demolition project, the city had to make sure the building's removal was documented, Jeff Hanson, community development operations manager, said.
Work on the project began last May with demolition beginning last October. The council awarded the demolition contract to Dore, for $3.15 million, with the overall cost estimated to be $4.2 million. Hanson said the next step is clearance of rubble from the site. He said he expects Dore to finish ahead of the June 30 deadline.
The Economic Development Department already has started marketing the land for light manufacturing use. A new company could operate a business similar to nearby Van Meter Industrial or Johnstone Supply. Other potential uses include a warehouse or even a food processing operating, Hanson said, but one that had no slaughtering or rendering.