Posted at: 06/21/2012 5:27 PM
| Updated at: 06/21/2012 6:04 PM
By: John McLoughlin
The City of Albany is demolishing an old dry-cleaning business that officials say has an unknown amount of hazardous chemicals in the basement. The demolition did not begin, however, until after a good amount of finger-pointing.
The demolition began at 3 o'clock this afternoon; this comes several years after a fire in the closed business, when barrels were discovered in the basement, possibly containing toxic and dangerous chemicals
The county executive today announced the demolition just as the crew arrived.
The city, not the county, is paying $21,000 to take it down after fire officials declared the walls unsafe.
The bigger cost could be the subsequent cleanup, plastic barrels are said to be floating in water in the basement, leaving city and county officials pointing fingers over the delay.
Taxes have not been paid for more than a decade and officials cannot locate the owner, and neither the city, nor the county which is supposed to collect the taxes, wanted to claim ownership, both fearing that a toxic cleanup could cost a fortune.
County Executive Dan McCoy asked DEC to investigate, and he says DEC will pay to clean out the basement
Unpaid taxes on the property, city, county and school, amount to $75,000. City taxpayers will have to pay $21,000 to tear down the walls, which should be completed by tonight, but the county executive says the cleanup of the basement could cost a couple hundred thousand dollars and he says that DEC, the state, has assured him that will be paid out of the superfund.