Town of Preeceville dealing with asbestos in building

The Town of Preeceville had originally slated four buildings in the town for demolition in 2019 but held off with one of the main buildings located in the downtown core.

The old Paul's Drugstore building was up for demolishing but when the possibility of hazardous material was discovered, town council made the decision to temporary postpone any further action until issues could be addressed.

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“It was also not in our budget at that time,” stated Lorelei Karcha, administrator for the Town of Preeceville.

The Town had a professional inspection done resulting in asbestos being found in the building. Four quotes from selected companies who deal with the proper removal of asbestos were attained and the initial asbestos discovery was removed but upon further investigation more asbestos was discovered. The first discovery was cleaned up but the second discovery has yet to be cleaned up.

"It has been a bigger than expected project and we will work within our budget which has not been set for the 2020 year yet,” continued Karcha. “There is a possibility that some other projects that we had budgeted for will be put on hold until we can deal with this issue. We are still hoping to get to the demolishing stage for that building this year.”

Asbestos is a term used to refer to six naturally occurring silicate minerals, stated information from the Wikipedia website.

All are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals, each fibre being composed of many microscopic 'fibrils' that can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion and other processes. Asbestos is an excellent electrical insulator and is highly heat-resistant, so for many years it was used as a building material.

However, it is now a well-known health and safety hazard and the use of asbestos as a building material is illegal in many countries. Inhalation of asbestos fibres can lead to various serious lung conditions, including asbestosis and cancer continued the information.

Archaeological studies have found evidence of asbestos being used as far back as the Stone Age to strengthen ceramic pots, but large-scale mining began at the end of the 19th century when manufacturers and builders began using asbestos for its desirable physical properties. Asbestos was widely used during the 20th century until the 1970s, when public recognition of the health hazards of asbestos dust led to its prohibition in mainstream construction and fireproofing in most countries.

Despite this, and in part because the consequences of exposure can take decades to arise, at least 100,000 people per year are thought to die from diseases related to asbestos exposure.

Ed Paul and his son Vern arrived in Preeceville in 1938 when the town was just beginning a period of post-depression prosperity and the so-called boom, according to the history provided in the From The Hearts to hands of Healthcare cookbook.

Paul bought the drugstore business belonging to Hilding Carlson. It was located in a building rented from George Baal who was the pharmacist at Preeceville from 1919 to 1925.

The building was located approximately between the TD Bank and what is currently known as the Centennial Park. It was owned by the Paul family until Monica Pelpelkin purchased the building in 2009. In 2016, a fire broke out and destroyed much of the inside structure and the Town of Preeceville took over the building through tax enforcement for unpaid taxes.

Through the years the building was utilized by various business in Preeceville.