Monday, March 23, 2015

COUNCIL MEETING BRIEF



.I am not going into depth about the Special Meeting regarding the demolition of the building on North Ave. Before the meeting started; I learned that I had been sent an email with a history of the building at about 4:30 pm which I had not checked. So I asked a series of questions; including since the fire was in Dec.11 2015, 3 years ago when and why did it suddenly become an emergency? Why was a real-estate agency selected to do the demolition? Who was responsible for the damage to the adjacent building?

Among the answers received was that the building had been inspected in early January (6th) and the City was noted that it was unsafe. The city engineers; Remington, Vernick & Arango on Feb.2, 2015 submitted a report to the Director of Public Works that the building was “in imminent danger of further failure and potential collapse” with the recommendation of demolition.

Apparently the owner was notified who at first promise to demolish it; the reneged. Why this individual who had in essence abandoned the building with the City already holding liens of several 100 thousand on the property was even considered by the City to do the job is a puzzle.

On March 20, Bill Nierstedt, Director of Planning received approval from the State Historic Preservation Office to demolish the building which is in a Historical Site. When this request was made is not clear. However why the delay from 1/6/15 to 3/21/15 before the warning was acted upon.

Watson said that 6 firms were asked for proposals for the demolition but only two responded, one being a Demolition and Disposal company. Since Yates proposal was 214K instead of the other company's 220K proposal it was picked despite no track record and some questions about insurance with only the statement that the carrier was in the process of issuing the requested policies. In fact there has not been a signed contract just acceptance of the “proposal”.

The Council had a great number of questions and although they were never completely answered instead of accepting Citizen Alan Goldstein’s advice that the tabled the resolutions until they have a chance to study the support material; after complaining that they had not received any material until Friday night rejected all three resolutions.

Meantime the business owners in the building damaged complained that they have now lost their livelihood. Smiley said the City would look into helping them until the insurance companies compensated them. There is no known mechanism to do so.
10;45 AM some computer generated typos corrected. please let me know if I have missed any morfe.

6 comments:

  1. This ws addressed to an earlier blog but belongs here.
    Alan GoldsteinMarch 23, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    This was a travesty, from beginning to whenever it ultimately ends. Watson, Smiley, and Izzo are on our municipal version of the TV show Chopped, and the citizens of this City should be the only winners, not these three. Maybe Mapp isn't even fully aware, or maybe he is. This warrants an investigation by the City Council much more than WBLS ever did, and I am grateful they weren't railroaded into blindly voting in favor of these resolutions. But my feelings aren't political in the sense of factional partisanship. The previous administration should have been taken down for the CSBG job training scam. The WBLS business was like pursuing a minnow instead of the shark.
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  2. The Uniform Construction Code regulations require the City to issue a Notice of Imminent Hazard to the property owner. The notice gives some minimum period of time for the owner to challenge the finding of a hazard or to eliminate the cause of the hazard. If the owner fails to comply, the regulations authorize the City to proceed with the work necessary to eliminate the hazard; in this case, to demolish the building.

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    1. Above is of course correct, the question is the amount of time the city failed to exercise its obligation in view of an uncooperative owner. That goes back to 2012 and was declared critical y in Jan 2,2015. It is not until 3/21/15 that an emergency was issued.

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  3. The previous administration owes us all an explanation of why this wasn't taken care of when it became a problem. Instead they just let it sit and deteriorate--now we (and our current mayor) have to pay the bills and take the rap.

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  4. What people are forgetting is that the problem is not that the building was in need of being taken down. the problem is that this administration hired a real estate company in tune of over $200,000.00.

    My question still remains WHY!!!!!!!

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  5. Doc I was there last night and I must say I am applaud. I do believe this probably may have been an emergency, but what's bothering me is that this administration hired a third party company to hire a demolishing company to do the work!!!!!

    I believe it would have cost the taxpayer's less money to just hire the demolishing company.

    Renee

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