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Illegal Dumping Slows Cleaning Process Of Old Drewry's Brewery Site

Annacaroline Caruso/WVPE News

South Bend community members gathered Thursday night to express concerns about the state of the old Drewry’s Brewery site. This discussion has been going on for several years.

Residents are worried about environmental and health hazards from asbestos found on the property.

It’s believed the asbestos and other trash is a result of illegal dumping.

Property owner Steve Durkee was on video chat during the meeting. He said a demolition order from the city means he can’t get a loan to fund the clean-up.

Durkee has spent more than one million dollars of his own money.

Representatives from the city say they will try to get the order removed.

Property manager David Drabecki said the constant illegal dumping has also slowed the process.

“If we didn’t get the asbestos, it would already be done cleaned up, new grass starting to grow, it would've been done," Drabecki said. "But he’s always getting stopped for something stupid.”

Becky Kaiser lives about a block away from the site. She hopes it gets taken care of as soon as possible.

“I want my neighbors safe," she said. "I want them healthy. I want the children in our neighborhood to be safe and healthy, and I don't want our neighborhood to look like a dump.”

The plan is to turn the property into an indoor farming business once it is cleaned.

Contact Annacaroline at or follow her on Twitter at @AnnacarolineC16
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