Debate continues as demolition of old West Columbia homes still likely

Debate continues as demolition of old West Columbia homes still likely

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In recent weeks, debate has continued over a controversial demolition project in one neighborhood of the city.

At the beginning of August, the city began the process of tearing down five homes along Hudson and Oliver streets. The work drew quick backlash from many residents in West Columbia's historic Mill Village.

City officials say the homes need to go so more parking can be created for the West Columbia Riverwalk as well as commercial retail near the river. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control would put a stop to the demolitions after concerns came out that asbestos from the old buildings could get into the air.

For now, people who live close to the project site still have some pretty mixed feelings about what's been taking place.

"Ya know I have no problem with what they did here because it was a mess to start with," said Keith Middleton, who lives off of Hudson Street.

"These homes have been here for over 100 years and I don't think they should tear them down for parking," said John Goodwin, who also lives in the Mill Village.

So far, one of the five buildings slated for demolition by the city has been torn down. West Columbia officials say a survey showed it had no asbestos inside of it.

At this point, it is not clear if the other buildings will pose a threat if they get torn down.

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