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The Beatrice street department works to finish cleanup on the former site of Catlin Auto Salvage on First Street.

Sam Craig Daily Sun staff

Cleanup on the site of a former auto salvage yard the city of Beatrice acquired last year is nearly complete.

At a Wednesday BPW meeting, Beatrice Street Superintendent Jason Moore said that the cleanup of Catlin’s Auto Salvage along First Street began in December and is nearly complete. The street crew took on the job, which required demolition of an existing building and hauling away debris.

So far, Moore said 487 truckloads of debris have been hauled away from the site, which comes to about 4,200 tons of trash taken to a construction waste site near the landfill.

BPW member Darin Baher asked Moore if crews had found anything with recyclable value.

“We've got a pile down there that's got cast iron piping,” Moore said. “We've got fence that we've even taken and torched the chain link fence and set it aside. The steel pipes, the fencing, gates, an old railroad I-beam was in there. We pulled that aside.”

If it hadn’t been for the cold and snow in previous weeks, Moore said the cleanup would probably have been done by Thursday, but as it stands, they’re close to completion, with just some brush and small elm trees left to be removed.

The crew will be leaving the bigger cottonwood trees where they stand he said, which should look nice after the property is reverted back to green space.

In the coming days, weather permitting, the street department will be clearing a property to the north of the salvage site, which the city recently acquired from Farmers Cooperative. The property should be a significantly smaller job, Moore said, and he expects it will take only a few days to complete.

Moore said that after the job is finished, crews will haul in black dirt to lay down before seeding the property. The soil that’s been dug up at the site so far looks good, Moore said, but there are always a few surprises waiting.

“It's kind of like an iceberg,” Moore said. “You see a little bit sticking above ground, you go to try and pick it up and you end up finding out there's a Volkswagen under the dirt.”

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