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Old Homelite site cleanup resumes

Cleanup work has resumed at the site of the former HomeliteJacobsen manufacturing building after thousands of tons of scrapand debris have remained unmoved at the location for seven months,making a 21-acre eyesore in the heart of Brookhaven’s industrialcommunity.

Daniel Nguyen, brother of property owner Nicolette Nguyen, wasonsite Monday and confirmed that a crew hired by Houston-based PicaCorporation were once again hauling scrap metal from the remains ofthe factory.

He refused to comment further, and Nicolette Nguyen did notimmediately return phone messages seeking comment. Repeated callsto Pica Corporation went unanswered.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said he and city officials are pleased tosee cleanup efforts under way again after the massive, unsightlypiles have stood for months, blocking any potential resale anddevelopment of the land.

“Once the site has been cleaned and cleared, we’ll haveadditionally acreage that could house a perspective new industry,”he said.

The Homelite Jacobsen manufacturing plant, once a strong part ofBrookhaven’s industrial base, was used as a production and storagesite during its approximately half-century life. The roughly230,000 square-foot structure was most recently used for storage bythe Wal-Mart Distribution Center until being abandoned in 1996.

Nguyen bought the building and its more than 21 acres ofproperty at auction in April of last year and began demolishing thebuilding and selling its scrap in July. Scrap removal abruptlyended last fall when a dispute arose between Nguyen and Monticellocontractor Kevin Claude Davis Excavating, with Davis placing a morethan $23,000 lien on the site and its contents.

Davis alleges that Nguyen owes his company the sum for labor,while Nguyen dismisses the charge completely. The lien is still ineffect and the legal battle continues.