Troy tells building owner: repair or remove

Posted at: 04/09/2013 5:19 PM
Updated at: 04/09/2013 5:39 PM
By: Kumi Tucker

TROY - City Engineer Russ Reeves and his team took a good look at the old Hillside Cleaners building on Third Avenue in North Troy. They walked around with the owner of the building.

Sunday, a large window fell out and smashed onto the sidewalk. Neighbors worry someone could get seriously injured. They say there are animals, and falling bricks, and something else, maybe chemicals or mold.

"There's a funny smell that comes out of there. In the summertime, it's worse," said neighbor Cecilia Maloney.

Reeves said they are still investigating the smell. The building has no floor, which obviously limited their access inside.

"I am afraid it's either going to fall down and take the house next door with it, or it's going to catch fire," said Maloney.

Reeves said the back wall is in danger of collapsing.

"We're going to provide {the owner} a very strict time frame to deal with this problem. If he does not comply with it, he has to be thinking about removal," said Reeves.

Piotr Wozniak said he's owned the building for four years and wants it to be a factory to build furniture.

"There's no smell. There's no gas in there, there's no dead animals. They never smelled it," he said, referring to Reeves and his team.

The owner's crews were there today, working inside.

City officials told NewsChannel 13 yesterday that the building was up to code, but Reeves said that is definitely not the case.

Neighbor Rita Canfield said she's afraid to let her grandson play in her yard next door.

"I think it should be taken down, myself," she said. "Because what good is it? It's falling down all the time, glass falling out, windows are falling out, no floor."

Reeves said the owner has until the end of the week to board up the windows, and must shore up the back by Tuesday as part of an eight-week stabilization plan. The city engineer estimates all the stabilization work will probably cost the owner about $300,000.