The town of Arcadia has officially taken ownership of a village property, and the Village Board now wants to know what’s next.

The town of Arcadia has officially taken ownership of a village property, and the Village Board now wants to know what’s next.

The property at 1303 N. Main St. has been the subject of much debate at the town level after the Town Board fought Wayne County to keep the property from falling into Section 8 status, which would have removed it from the tax rolls and prevented any kind of cleanup from occurring. Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino, who calls the property an eyesore at a gateway to the village, contracted with Lu Engineers to have a Phase I environmental study done on the property, which indicated a need for a Phase II.

Colacino was able to obtain a Phase II study from the Environmental Protection Agency at no cost to taxpayers, which showed that the ground at the site was contaminated with “relatively low concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, arsenic, copper, iron, lead, mercury and zinc” among other contaminates in the soil, as well as in the groundwater.

It is no secret that the property is contaminated, and Colacino said he intends to find grant money to help clean it up. This past January the town signed an indemnity agreement with the county that releases the county of any liability regarding the property and future cleanup that will be necessary. Considerable back taxes, totaling $30,000 to $40,000, were owed on the property, Colacino said, before the county foreclosed on it earlier this month and immediately signed the deed over to the town — a deed Colacino was waiting to see finalized last week.

Newark Mayor Peter Blandino said he wasn’t sure what plans the town has for the property, but village trustees voiced concern about their responsibilities and liabilities regarding the property. Village Clerk Steve Murawski said nothing has changed with the property just because the town has taken ownership — the town is now a village property owner and as such must abide by village code and therefore is financially responsible for keeping the property up to code. Code Enforcement Officer Mark Peake was asked to speak with village attorney Art Williams on the matter last Wednesday.

Colacino said he checked with NYMIR, the town’s insurance company, and the town is fully insured on the property. However, for safety’s sake, the town intends to barricade the property’s sole building and post signs warning of the potential hazard, Colacino said. Studies have shown that the building’s roof contains asbestos, and Colacino said the removal of the material will be the most costly expense in the cleanup process.

“The contamination that has been detected at the property appears to be manageable so long as direct contact is prevented,” a study performed by the EPA at no cost to taxpayers stated. The study also recommended the installation of a perimeter fence around the property to prevent exposure and that a complete geophysical survey be conducted after the dumpsters are removed from the property. The ground contamination can be contained, Colacino added, by paving the property — a remedy also included in the EPA’s study.

Colacino said the town is actively seeking funding to clean up the property at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. In the meantime, he said the town will give the property’s previous owner, the Parkisons, ample time to remove any personal property from the site.

The village will continue to receive taxes from the property until it is removed from the tax rolls in 2015. Colacino said, had the property gone into Section 8 nearly 3 years ago, it would have been off the tax rolls indefinitely.