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Bloomington orders AT&T to remove smokestack equipment

Johnson's Creamery smokestack

The city issued an unsafe building order for the smokestack Jan. 10, and a modified order March 11 (Devin Ridgway, WFIU/WTIU News)

The City of Bloomington ordered AT&T to remove its equipment from the Johnson’s Creamery smokestack by May 31 or it owes $500 each day. The equipment is preventing the property owner from reducing the smokestack to a safe height.

The housing and neighborhood development department (HAND) issued the order, and the board of public works affirmed it Tuesday. 

“What this order would allow the city to do is impose fines against AT&T if they’re not engaging in the process or unreasonably delaying the owner,” assistant city attorney Daniel Dixon said.

Dixon said the city set the deadline for the end of May because the property owner, Peerless Development, could begin reducing the smokestack as early as June.

However, he said AT&T originally estimated to remove the equipment between June-September. The company since estimated between June-July, but did not respond to the May 31 deadline.

READ MORE: Bloomington council establishes Johnson Creamery historic district 

The smokestack was the center of a debate in March and April after the city ordered Peerless to reduce the smokestack from 144 feet to 60 feet. City council then established a historic district around the building, allowing the historic preservation commission to maintain oversight following the partial demolition.

Johnson's Creamery smokestack from the ground
View looking up the smokestack from the southeast side. (Courtesy: City of Bloomington/Arsee Engineers)

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