CAMBRIA — Didion Milling’s president told the Cambria Village Board on Monday to expect federal investigators to use every minute of their allotted six months to investigate and report on what caused the May 31 explosion at the plant that resulted in five deaths.
Riley Didion, also president of Didion Ethanol, told the village trustees that means the Occupational Safety and Health Administration report isn’t likely to be out until the end of November.
Didion said he isn’t sure how OSHA will announce its findings, but it’s likely that Didion officials, village officials and the public all will learn those findings at about the same time.
Demolition at the explosion site is about 70 percent completed, but has been at a standstill pending OSHA authorization, Didion said. That’s likely to change in a matter of days, as demolition continues to make way for a rebuilt milling plant.
Barring unforeseen complications, Didion said he hopes the pouring of some concrete forms for the rebuilt plant can start in November. He told the Village Board that company officials are looking at several engineering and design firms, but haven’t hired anyone for the rebuild — nor do they have a target date for its completion.
Meanwhile, the corn harvest is just getting started, and about 125 trucks are coming through Didion Ethanol daily with loads of grain to distill.
The traffic, for work at the site and delivery of corn, was the focus of some of Monday’s brief discussion.
Village President Glen Williams noted that trick-or-treat hours in the village will be set at 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31, and the safety of costumed children will need to be accommodated by all drivers, including those bringing corn to Didion Ethanol.
Public Works Director Tom Tietz said it’s possible village crews will do work on Commerce Street later this month or in early November to connect a building to the village’s sewer system, which also could affect Didion-bound truck traffic.