VIDEO: Crews tearing down a former downtown Middletown department store after wind damage

The demolition of the former Montgomery Ward department store on North Main Street in downtown Middletown continues to move forward.

City officials said high winds last month damaged the roof of the city-owned building as well as bricks and other debris falling to the sidewalk prompted the decision to demolish it. The building demolition required closing the right southbound lane of North Main Street.

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Plans to demolish the building were made in December 2017 but the city did not move forward on the project due to a lack of funds, according to city spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan. After last month’s wind damage, the city contacted the demolition company that won the bid about proceeding with the project. Vickers Wrecking agreed to honor its earlier bid price of $292,000 and was able to start immediately.

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The city tried to sell the building twice but did not receive any bids or proposals, Quinlivan said. The city acquired the vacant building at no cost in July 2012 after it was forfeited to the state for nonpayment of back taxes. Officials have been discussing demolishing it since early 2013.

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