- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - The Spearfish City Council has hired a local contractor to demolish a call center that collapsed under the weight of snow from an early October blizzard.

The 225 Spearfish workers with Iowa-based TMone have been operating out of the city’s recreation center since the collapse of the 50,000-square-foot city-owned building during the Oct. 4-5 storm, which dumped as much as 4 feet of snow on western South Dakota’s Black Hills. No one was in the building when it collapsed, and computer servers were spared.

The demolition work will cost about $50,000 and be completed by mid-May, the Black Hills Pioneer and Rapid City Journal reported. The city has set up a committee to recommend a contractor to construct a new building.

“We don’t need a collapsed building sitting at the entrance to our city,” Public Works Director Cheryl Johnson said.

The city expects to reach an insurance settlement in excess of $5 million, according to City Attorney Richard Pluimer.

“The building had an insured value of $4.3 million, but the city also has a replacement cost endorsement so the final settlement will be equal to the replacement cost of the existing structure,” he said.

Premiere Bankcard donated the building to the city when it left Spearfish in 2011. The city leased it to the Spearfish Economic Development Corp, which sub-leased it to Iowa City, Iowa-based TMone.

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