Official: Building safe for Domino Drop

Published 1:17 am Thursday, December 29, 2016

The City of Andalusia’s plans to countdown to the new year by dropping a giant domino from a building that has been in abatement for about a year prompted some to question the safety of the event, but Director of Planning Andy Wiggins said there should be no cause for concern.

“The domino dropping won’t affect anything on the exterior of the building,” Wiggins said. “The domino will be cantilevered off the top of the building, and come down by a pulley off of the truck.”

The City of Andalusia began abatement proceedings against the owners of the building late in 2015. In 2016, the majority owner of the building, Tom Forbath traveled from California to meet with council members and outlined plans for improvements.

In February, construction barriers were erected around the building for safety purposes and amid concerns that some brick had fallen from the top of the building.

Since that time, Wiggins said, some of the planned repairs to the building have been completed, including replacement of some of the windows, and repairs to some of the lower cornice work.

“All of that has been taken into consideration,” Wiggins said.

The construction barriers will remain in place.

“If there happens to be any falling debris, everybody will be a safe distance away,” he said. “We will take every precautionary measure to make sure everyone is safe.”

Forbath said in March he planned to market and sell the building.

The city’s New Year’s celebration will begin at 10 p.m. on the Court Square, with entertainment by the Straughn High School FFA String Band. There will be fireworks and the domino drop at midnight.