City authorities are trying to remove the asbestos-contaminated waste of 135 E. Main St. at the earliest after the Marshalltown grocery store burned in February.
The city council had approved filing a asbestos lawsuit against F&H Properties Corp., the building owners, to force the cleanup.
City lawyer Curt Ward said the city has filed a complaint claiming that the debris is a problem. The lawsuit will allow the court to seize the funds for the cleanup from F&H and hand over it to the city.
F&H, which is owned by Ed Hughes and Charles Fairall, has 20 days for filing documentation.
“The issue should stay in property owners’ hands. It should not be shifted to the citizens,” Ward said.