The city of Marion is still working to get the Drexel Heritage plant site cleaned up.
“We are moving forward slowly but methodically,” said City Planning Director Heather Cotton.
An update on the cleanup of the old Drexel Heritage site was presented at Tuesday’s meeting of the Marion City Council.
More than two years ago, property owner Fred Godley of Cornelius started the demolition of the old furniture plant. However, he later informed local officials that he could not finish the demolition work and wanted to give the property to both the city of Marion and McDowell County. Since then, the place has been left with massive piles of debris and partially demolished buildings still standing.
The huge remnants of this plant are plainly visible from the Cross Mill community and Blue Ridge Terrace Apartments. It can also be seen from West Henderson Street.
Last year, the city of Marion got a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the state to help pay for the cleanup of the unfinished demolition at the former Drexel Heritage Furniture plant site. Once the demolition cleanup is finally done, both the city and McDowell County would take ownership of the property and market it for new industries.
On Tuesday, Cotton said the city is moving forward with a phase 2 environmental assessment done as part of the demolition cleanup process. This is a requirement of the CDBG. The city will also sign a contract with the Wooten Co., which will be the grant administrator. Both the city and the county will share equally the local costs associated with this effort.