Huge smokestacks overlooking river in Miamisburg to be demolished

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The three smokestacks at the former Hutchings Station power plant in Miamisburg are scheduled to be demolished Friday morning, and area residents looking to catch a glimpse as they come down have a few options for good locations.

“The dam on the opposite side of the river of the plant is one of the best viewing areas for the public to view the demolition,” said Pat Ford, director of external affairs and business development for Frontier Industrial. “Rice Field is the other area for a good view for the public.”

Chautauqua Road between Dayton-Cincinnati Pike and Farmington Road will be shut down between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Friday, according to the city of Miamisburg.

The stacks are tentatively scheduled to come down sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Ford said. The company retains a professional contractor to perform this specialized type of work, he said.

“There are a number of factors (that) contribute to whether we drop it at the designated time and on the designated date,” Ford said.
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Frontier describes itself as an environmental liability transfer company and brownfield developer offering a wide range of demolition and redevelopment services.

It conducted a large drop in Conesville a couple of years ago and had to postpone it for a day because of low-ceiling atmosphere, Ford said.

“Site conditions, weather conditions, a variety of other factors have to be completely satisfactory for us to perform this type of work,” he said.

The former power plant sits on the west bank of the Great Miami River, about two-and-a-half miles south of downtown Miamisburg. The former Dayton Power & Light — now AES Ohio — opened the Hutchings Station facility in 1948 and deactivated it in 2015.

In January 2021, Frontier Industrial purchased more than 200 acres at the site for just more than $866,000. The Buffalo, N.Y.-based company previously said the best reuse for the site would be a recreation complex and residential development, mentioning the possibility of indoor and outdoor athletic fields, along with some “accessory commercial uses.”

Frontier specializes in decommissioning and removing waste from sites, Ford said.

“The only sites that we develop are brownfields, which are historically (former) power plants, steel mills, textile factories, chemical plants, pulp factories,” he said. “That’s what we do. So whenever we acquire these assets and take on all of the environmental liability and responsibility to clean those sites up.”

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