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Village begins condemnation proceedings

A Lakeport Road property is the subject of early condemnation proceedings by the village of Chittenango. Codes Enforcement Officer Gary Scofield presented the Village Board of Trustees with photos of the property, which he says is becoming more unsafe daily.

A breach in the roof allowed water to filter down inside the structure, Scofield said. The supports have rotted away, and the roof and second story have collapsed inside.

"Every day it keeps getting worse," Scofield said. "It won't be long before the whole place will be falling down. The owner needs to either repair it or tear it down."

Village attorney Paul Iaconis said the village can order its repair.

"There's no repair to it," Scofield said.

Mayor Ronny Goeler asked Scofield to be certain the structure is still boarded up and suggested the board issue a directive to make the necessary improvements within 60 days.

"He's not here for his public hearing, so obviously it means a lot to him," Goeler said.

"It would be cheaper to tear it down and rebuild it, rather than to repair it," said Trustee and Dep. Mayor Michael Sudol.

Iaconis said the council would need the recommendation of a professional that it is not worth repairing.

"We probably out to have the recommendation of an engineer," Sudol said. "I assume we'd have to do all the other requirements of demolition, including an asbestos survey."

Goeler suggested the board have Scofield contact the owner to see if he's willing to allow access.

"Otherwise, we will go to court to gain access to the building," Goeler said. "First, let's get a determination on whether it's fixable."

The Sullivan Town Council began condemnation proceedings on three buildings last year. One of them, a metal structure, was determined to have minimal asbestos contamination. Engineers deemed the other two unfit for entry and inspection, so the town will have to proceed with demolition as if they are asbestos contaminated.

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