Flue Hits Downtown Square

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 75 views 

The construction of a seven-story, sheet-metal flue alongside the E.J. Ball building in Fayetteville has some business owners on the historic downtown square coughing mad.

However, Alett Little, city planning director, says the flue, which is 24 inches in diameter, doesn’t violate any city safety or design regulations.

Aesthetically, Little says, there’s no problem with the shiny flue facing the red-brick, turn-of-the-century buildings that line Block Street. The flue can be seen from the square because the Ball building towers above the historic, three-story Kelly-Eason Building that separates it from the square.

rLittle says new buildings being constructed in the historic downtown area must adhere to a specific design ordinance that wouldn’t allow the flue. Since the flue is constructed as an addition to an existing building, it doesn’t have to meet such criteria, she says.

The flue will allow heat to escape from a gas-fired boiler, located in the basement, that fuels a 200 ton air conditioner and 2.4 million BTU furnace, says Don Fitzgerald, a city building inspector. The Ball building, which is just west of the square, was constructed in the 1970s.

“Although it doesn’t violate city regs, the flue apparently juts a few feet over the property line of the Kelly-Eason Building as it winds its way around a parapet extending from the roof of the Ball building.

Thad Kelly, an architect and co-owner of Kelly-Eason Building, says Bob Brezinski, property manager for E.J. Ball Plaza, is aware of the problem. Brezinski says he may tunnel through the roof’s parapet or through a seventh-floor window to reroute the flue.