OTTAWA — Mary Blossy is counting down the minutes until the old Peltier plant is torn down.
Blossy lives immediately north of the former factory — located at the corner of Boyce Lane and DeLeon Street — and has watched the facility fall into steady disrepair.
The walls and ceiling have sagged, she said, and the structure is so noticeably unsound that only one option remains: Tear it down.
“It’s very old and in very bad condition,” Blossy said, “and I’d like to see it planted with grass or something.”
Blossy will get a chance to voice her concerns at a public meeting scheduled today at city hall. Ottawa officials will entertain thoughts on what city engineer Dave Noble termed an “end use” for the plant, which closed in 2010 after more than a century of operations.
Judging from comments offered by Blossy and her neighbors, city officials can expect strong views, indeed.
“I live right next door to Peltier’s and I hope they just tear it down,” Toni Leason wrote on the NewsTribune’s Facebook page. “The windows are broken (and) kids have spray-painted the side. Right now it’s an eye sore.
“(It’s) very sad because there is so much history in that building for it to have been sitting this long empty.”
The question now becomes what to do with the property? Blossy said the parcels are zoned residential and she favors converting it into green space to complement the existing homes.
That appears to be a possibility because Noble reported the site is contaminated, though not to the degree previously thought, and which could open grant opportunities.
But one former employee said he had mixed emotions over the razing of Peltier, which was renowned for its production of colored marbles.
“It is sad that a landmark is being torn down,” said Don Price, an Ottawa native now retired and living in Arizona.
“Peltier’s has been there since I could remember, at least 60 years,” he said, recalling several family members who worked there. “A lot of people came and went the short time that I worked there. It was very interesting on how marbles were made. I’m sorry to see it go.”
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.