Two city-owned buildings aren’t likely to be standing for much longer.

The board of aldermen approved a contract at the Monday, Aug. 13, meeting with Abatement Specialists, Inc. to abate asbestos and lead paint at the properties. Once that work is done, the buildings can come down.

The buildings are located at 1009 N. Oak St. and 208 Central Ave. The city bought the properties with the intention of razing the buildings.

Before any demolition can begin, abatement must take place first.

The city will pay Abatement Specialists, Inc. $13,500 for the work.

The project entails wet manual removal of “transite” siding, removal of windows, and the hauling of all waste to an EPA-certified landfill.

City Administrator Russell Rost said he doesn’t anticipate the work to take very long.

Rost said when all the abatement is done, city crews will work to raze the structures. He said the demo work likely won’t happen until late summer or early fall.

“It shouldn’t take more than two or three days,” he said.

The city had hoped to move the project forward sooner. The original plan was to start the process at the end of the school year in mid-May. However, a resident in one of the units was still occupying the building and forced the city to undergo the eviction process.

The resident is no longer living in the building, Rost said.

In July, Rost said hes engaged in talks about the next steps for the properties. He said he’s met with Habitat for Humanity about the site.

All of the properties were purchased from the lenders, Robert and Pamela Ashcraft, Des Peres, in early February for $57,999.28 — one-fourth of the assessed valuation listed by the county assessor.

The property at 1009 N. Oak had been heavily damaged by fire. The home at 1019 N. Oak had numerous complaints because of its condition and was no longer habitable, Rost said. Neither of the two houses had occupants at the time of the purchase.

The house at 1009 N. Oak was damaged by fire again in early April. Two boys were accused of playing with matches and catching the building on fire.

The city became interested in purchasing the buildings last fall. The owners notified the city the properties were likely to go into foreclosure. Rost began working with the lender to acquire the properties.

Rost said the purchase was the most economical and certainly the fastest way to address the issues with the site. He said the city has no plans to pursue other blighted properties at this time.