Wayne Post
  • Town indemnifies county to take ownership of contaminated property

  • Approval of an indemnification agreement on a contaminated property in the village has several town residents concerned.

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  • Approval of an indemnification agreement on a contaminated property in the village has several town residents concerned.
    County attorneys are beginning the foreclosure process on a Newark property that will allow the town of Arcadia to take possession of 1303 North Main St. with no strings attached. At the last Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved an indemnification agreement that releases the county of any liability regarding the property and future clean up that will be necessary. The agreement also states, “the town is willing to pay and/or guarantee payment of all engineering and other costs” associated with cleanup, containment and/or remediation of the property.
    Currently owned by Frederick Parkison and Douglas Parkison, considerable back taxes are owed on the property. Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino, who calls the property an eyesore at a gateway to the village, sought to keep the property from falling into the Section 8 roll, which would have removed it from the tax rolls and prevented any kind of clean up from occurring. The town then 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.
    “The contamination that has been detected at the property appears to be manageable so long as direct contact is prevented,” as stated in the study with a recommendation to install a perimeter fence around the property to prevent exposure. The study results also recommend a complete geophysical survey be conducted after the dumpsters are removed from the property and that “remediation by soil removal or isolation by capping all subsurface soils.”
    More concerning, Colacino said, the building located on the property has asbestos in the roof, which is expensive to remove and dispose of.
    Recently, the Town Board sought to take ownership of the property in effort to clean it up for potential businesses and ultimately put it back on the tax roll. Colacino has been criticized for having a personal agenda for the property to construct a train station. Colacino denies the claim.
    “My interests and concerns regarding the North Main Street site go well beyond using it as a passenger rail station,” he said. “I am also quite concerned about issues such as lost property tax revenue, public safety and economic development, as well as the unsightly image that it offers.”
    Colacino said the community has lost three businesses on an adjoining parcel due directly to the property in question and overall the site is a hazard to residents.
    Page 2 of 2 - Once the foreclosure process is completed, the county will immediately sign the property over to the town. Colacino said he will then direct highway crews to put up some kind of fencing, perhaps a snow fence, around the property to keep people out until cleanup can commence. He also stated he is seeking grant funding to pay for cleanup costs and won’t begin cleanup until funding has been secured. Despite the contamination on the site, Colacino said he has not in any way been ordered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation or EPA to immediately clean up the premises.

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