Granby eight days after the Killdozer rampage’s 14th anniversary
Here it is, 14 years and eight days after the Killdozer rampage that destroyed or damaged 13 buildings in the town of Granby. And, yes, the town looks different today than it did on the morning of June 4, 2004.
Here’s a re-cap.
The large metal shed where Marv Heemeyer built his 85-ton bulldozer-tank is now an office and indoor storage building for the Trash Company, the outfit that bought the property from Heemeyer for $400,000 in 2003. The office where people now do business is the very place where Marv slaved away to build what he called his MK Tank (Marv’s Komatsu Tank).
The building where his muffler shop was located, which sits next to the metal building mentioned above, is no longer painted yellow and it’s a garage for working on trash trucks and other heavy equipment.
His first target in the rampage, the concrete forming building at Mountain Park Concrete, has now been completely rebuilt and looks good. Heemeyer destroyed that building in his rampage, making it look like a bomb had gone off inside the structure.
His second target, the concrete batch plant itself, which Heemeyer managed to destroy, has now also been completely rebuilt and looks good as new. The concrete batch plant yard is where the gun battles took place where Heemeyer shot at Cody Docheff, and several police officers.
Birds cheerfully chirp in the area on this morning of June 13, a far cry from the roaring engines and gun shots that filled the air so long ago.
He attacked prominent businesses
Heemeyer’s next target was Mountain Parks Electric, the locally owned electrical co-op headquartered in Granby. Heeemeyer managed to damage several garages and he completely destroyed the front reception offices and reception area. The damage was repaired and additional space was added to the front of the building.
Next, Heeemeyer slammed into the office of Maple Street Builders, where he “picture-framed” a pick-up truck right into the main area of the building on Granby’s main street. The building was repaired and most recently it was home to a bike shop.
Heemeyer’s next target was the Granby Town Hall, which he totally destroyed. The Granby Library was also located in the Town Hall building. Big changes resulted from that devastation. In that same spot the town of Granby has a new Town Hall that should be large enough to service the town’s needs well into the future.
The town also has a large new library that was built on a different spot across the intersection of the new Town Hall and across the street from the Granby Post Office.
Still being paid for today
While these two new buildings are handsome additions to the town, the truth is that they came at extreme expense to the taxpayers above and beyond insurance reparations. Those beautiful buildings are still being paid for today.
Heemeyer then drove his bulldozer-tank east and slammed into the front entrance area and corner of Liberty Savings Bank, where he left a huge, gaping hole in the new building. That was repaired within three months, leaving the building looking good as new.
After slamming into a traffic light and taking out some of the town’s aspen trees on Main Street (US Highway 40), Heeemeyer went right to the offices of the Sky-Hi News. He slammed into the front of that building (while I stood inside covering the crazy event) and then proceeded to methodically destroy the entire building. Standing there now is a new building that took a year to build.
Heemeyer then went east and attacked the variety of buildings owned by the Thompson family. He attacked and partially destroyed the Thompson and Sons Excavating Company garage, taking out some trailers in the process. That building was repaired quickly.
He attacked the Thompson family home, where Thompson matriarch Thelma Thompson had been sleeping only minutes before. The house was a total loss.
He attacked the Xcel Energy building (owned by the Thompsons), destroying trucks and totaling the building in the midst of a battle against a county scraper driven by Clark Branstetter.
The Thompsons have a brand new home in place of the old one. The Xcel Energy building was completely rebuilt and it now houses Cabin Works and a dog grooming business.
Heemeyer tried to blow up part of the town
The place where Heemeyer then drove so he could fire at large propane tanks with his 50-caliber rifle looks only slightly different than it did 14 years ago. A gash he made in the side hill near the property is still visible. New electrical transformers are in place where he shot out the old ones in an attempt to ignite escaping propane gas. (Luckily, he did not hit any of the propane tanks and no explosion occurred.)
Heemeyer then drove his Killdozer back into town where he damaged the front of Kopy Kat Printing, apparently by mistake. Then he went next door and completely destroyed the Gambles building, where he finally stalled due to overheating.
There’s a nice new Gambles building in place of the old building. But the lot sat vacant for six years before the owners could save the money to rebuild on the same lot. The damage to Kopy Kat was repaired quickly and it looks much like it did on the morning of June 4, 2004.
Maybe not so great after all
Some people joke that Granby got this forced urban renewal at the hands of Marv Heeemeyer. But the truth is that the victims all would be perfectly happy with their old buildings just the way they were on the morning of June 4, 2004.
The extreme cost of Heemeyer’s rampage is still being paid for, both in dollars and in emotional turmoil. I think it’s fair to say that Granby may look a little better after the rampage, but it doesn’t really feel any better.