A disputed development contract has caused nothing but trouble for Louisville's Arena Authority.  But Louisville Metro Government has a good story to tell -- receiving $2 million worth of demolition work for free.

Louisville's CRS Demolition has been in the news for its fight to do the arena site work.  It insisted it could do the job for a million dollars less than the company chosen for the job.

But a couple of years ago CRS made the city an offer it could not refuse.  It offered to tear down an abandoned chemical plant at zero cost to the city.

With a crash and a bang, the last building at the old Rhodia Chemical plant came down Wednesday.

Three years ago, the city decided to tear down the abandonded chemical works and redevelop the site next to the Parkhill Housing Project.  The problem was Louisville's Economic Development agency couldn't afford the $2-3 million demolition cost.

Daryl Brown with CRS Demolition says, "We decided that there was enough salvage here through equipment and materials that we felt pretty strongly we could do the job without cost to the city."

That was CRS Demolition's unusual proposal.  It would tear down more than 70 buildings and remove miles of pipe and tons of metal and storage tanks.  Its only pay would be what it could raise by salvaging materials in the plant.  John Davies of CRS Demolition says, "They permitted us to go through it, you know, carefully as we could."

Since the city was not in a hurry, CRS had time to separate materials and find buyers for industrial equipment it recovered.  After more than two years of work, it is finishing up.

Louisville Economic Development says the unusual arrangement worked out well.  It is now actively marketing the site.  It believes 13 acres right in the middle of an urban area will be attractive and will lead to new development.

The company says it found enough salvage to cover the cost of demolition and make a reasonable profit.