WATCH: 800-foot Power Plant Chimneys Crumble in Ohio Demolition

by Clayton Edwards

For countless people on the internet watching the demolition of a Conesville, Ohio power plant is impressive. For residents, seeing the three 805-foot tall stacks crumble is bittersweet. On one hand, it’s the beginning of a new era for the small town. Soon, an industrial park will flourish where the defunct power plant once stood. On the other hand, the demolition completely changed the landscape of the small town.

The demolition of Conesville, Ohio’s coal-fired power plant took place on Sunday, December 19th. However, the power plant shut down last April. Since then, it has been a silent juggernaut on the edge of town. Before that, those towering chimneys were symbolic, according to Coshocton Beacon Today, a local news outlet. The stacks symbolized economic stability for the town. When Conesville AEP was at its peak, it employed over 500 people. Additionally, more than 100 contractors worked with the power plant.

Demolishing to Rebuild

In the future, city officials and developers hope that the land will continue to be a symbol of economic stability. Currently, they’re unsure what will go there. However, the land cleared by the power plant demolition will be prime real estate on which to build businesses that will employ even more Ohio residents. Unfortunately, this will take some time.

Frontier Group of Companies is in charge of the demolition and repurposing of the Conesville, Ohio power plant. Frontier CEO David Fanjoine talked about the repurposing process. “Preparing a former power plant site for reuse is a complex, multi-year process that includes decommissioning the existing plant, removing contamination, razing structures, and ultimately collaborating with local, state, and federal officials to create and implement a redevelopment plan.” Currently, they’re a little over a year into the multi-year plan.

According to the Beacon, the demolition of the power plant is already bringing investors to the small Ohio town. They’re considering the site for “a variety of business and manufacturing uses.”

Conesville Ohio’s Mayor on the Power Plant Demolition

Marge Donely, mayor of Conesville, Ohio, talked a little about what the power plant demolition means to her and other citizens. “My young grandsons have always known when we were close to home while traveling in the car. As soon as they saw the stacks, they knew it was just a few minutes until they were home. The landscape will definitely change without the vision of the stacks,” she said. Donely added that she hopes that the new industrial park will give Conesville the kind of economic stability that the power plant provided for over 50 years.

At this time, they’re still in the early stages of redevelopment. However, Frontier Group of Companies is confident that they will be able to install businesses that will bolster the community and provide jobs for many Conesville residents.