Remediation begins at Hotel Louise this week

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, July 23, 2023

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Asbestos and lead paint removal within Hotel Louise on Main Street began this week, according to Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell. Contamination removal has blocked multiple attempts by developers to repurpose the historic building for the past 20 years, he said. 

Remediation will take approximately 90 days and will be completed by Environmental Infrastructure Solutions. Costs are mostly covered by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment Grant. The grant is designed for projects aimed at cleaning contaminated sites and repurposing those sites for a productive use, according to the EPA. The performance period for the grant is up to four years, per the EPA. 

The City of Washington acquired the grant in May of 2021. The city requested bids for the project and adjusted the scope of the project three times since receiving the grant due to cost increases and inflation, Russell said at the June 12 city council meeting.

The total cost of the project is $547,000, Russell said at the city council meeting. The owner has a 20% match requirement, or $100,000. 

At an informal meeting at the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center, Russell estimated the building’s purchase price to between $750,000 to $1 million. That does not include the development costs which he guessed would be several million dollars more, he said.