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Demolition plan for a handful of Collins Co. buildings going to wetlands agency

This map shows the buildings to be demolished - those denoted with crosshatches - at the Collins Co. complex.

Update: The agency began discussing this matter on May 11 and will continue to do so at a special meeting at 7 p.m. on May 25. The meeting is set to take place in Room F of the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave., Canton.

By John Fitts

Staff Writer

CANTON – An application before the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency gives further detail about the planned demolition of a handful of buildings at the Collins Co. complex.

In February of this year, the town’s fire marshal and building inspector issued orders for abatement of unsafe conditions at a handful of buildings in the historic complex – including the highly visible granite building as well several structures behind it.

“As noted in Code Section 116.1, unsafe structures shall be taken down and removed or made safe, as the building official deems necessary and as provided for in this section. The current condition require far more than a fence or barrier. These structures are currently in a state of collapse. Foundations, columns, beams, joists, rafters, roof sheathing and coverings, etc. have all suffered from years of neglect and must be dealt with,” building official Rand D. Stanley wrote, in part, in his letter to James W. Tilney, managing partner of At Collinsville, LLC, which owns the complex.

As previously reported in the Valley Press, At Collinsville, LLC subsequently fenced the area around the buildings and hired James K. Grant Associates, which specializes in structural engineering and historical preservation, to further assess the buildings. Grant’s report concluded that the Granite building and the attached wheelhouse could be shored up and agreed that the building(s) immediately behind it were in poor shape and should come down.

As per an April 27 application to the IWWA by the owner’s agent ­– Phil Doyle of Simsbury Landscape Architectural Design Associates P.C. – a contractor has been secured to demolish the buildings in question.

While some numbering systems use Canal Street addresses, Doyle’s report follows previous zoning material that refers to the area of demolition as buildings 21 to 23.

The demolition includes, by Doyle’s numbering system:

• Building 21 - the 8,848 square foot “Rolling Shop”

• Building 22 - the 15,467 square-foot "Lower Forge"

• Building 23 - the 4,000 square foot “Idle Drop”

Additionally at least one shed – and potentially two - on the north façade of the granite building will be torn down, after which a large hold in the granite building will be repaired, according to the application.

While a start date is not yet clear, Doyle noted that the demolition could be done as quickly as two to three weeks from the start date.

Doyle’s report states that Mountaintop Trucking has been retained and will demolishing will happen from “inside the structures.”

“Walls will be pulled inward, with roof material and walls dropped on to the existing concrete floors of the structures,” it states.

Additionally, other aspects such as staging, loading and fueling will be done on the slabs – which will remain in place after demolition, according to the report.

If any hazardous building materials are identified during demolition, a specialized subcontractor will remove them, Doyle writes in the application.

He also states that erosion control measures will be installed previous to the work and a meeting with town staff is anticipated.

While portions of the buildings to be demolished are in the upland review area, there is no disturbance proposed to any wetland, watercourse, or site soil, according the application.

Repair of the stone building façade will not take place in the upland review area, according to Doyle’s letter.

The application also proposes that most fencing will be removed after the work is completed but notes that a portion will remain near an area that potentially contains contaminated soils.

The Inland Wetlands Agency will consider the permit application at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 in Room F of the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave. See details about tuning in online here.

While the wheel house that is part of the Granite building will remain, the other structures in this photo are set to come down.


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