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Collapsed distillery in Cockeysville to be demolished Sunday

A distillery building in Cockeysville that collapsed last year during Superstorm Sandy was purchased by Baltimore County last month and will be demolished early Sunday morning, county officials said Thursday.

The purchase and demolition is part of a multi-phase project aimed to mitigate a small flood plain in Cockeysville that comprises several businesses, officials said.

"This is a positive example of how we can resolve a persistent problem through collaboration between County officials, local business owners and our state and federal emergency management agencies," County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in a statement.

In January, Baltimore County secured a $3.42 million FEMA grant to be used to buy the six affected properties in the flood plain, with either a county or private match of $1.14 million to supplement the demolitions.

At the time, Dave Thomas, assistant director of Baltimore County Public Works, said the properties had flooded three times in 18 months. After Hurricane Irene, Councilman Todd Huff, who represents the 3rd District, asked the county to explore a way to mitigate the flooding.

So far, the distillery building is the only building to accept the county’s offer to purchase the property. Baltimore County purchased the distillery property for $453,663, according to the announcement, and will also re-grade the property once the building is demolished

After past floods, local business owners have blamed the man-made embankment and rusted-out heavy machinery behind the distillery along Beaver Dam Run as a contributor to the excessive flooding.

In a statement, Kamenetz thanked Huff for his leadership on the project.

“We are moving quickly to address this problem,” Huff said. “The county finalized the purchase of the collapsed building just last Friday, and it is slated to come down this Sunday. It’s a good day when you can offer a permanent win-win solution to help local businesses survive and thrive."

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