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Councilman challenges emergency demolition in Troy

Updated: 08/06/2013 5:49 PM
Created: 08/06/2013 5:06 PM WNYT.com
By: John McLoughlin

TROY - A Troy City Council member is claiming that the emergency demolition of an old, downtown building does not meet the "smell test." In other words, he says it "stinks."

On Monday night, there was an ongoing demolition of a King Street building after the fire chief declared it unsafe, perhaps in danger of collapsing.

Councilmember Mark McGrath is not happy about that. He he cannot understand why Fire Chief Tom Garrett had to have the 151-year-old building torn down immediately in an area that's become popular for its nightspots.

The fire chief says his department has known for some time that the building right next door to the new Bomber's Burrito restaurant was unsafe, saying that on Monday his inspection team discovered things had gotten much worse.

So the city brought in a demolition crew to immediately tear it down.

The fire chief says he notified the owner, well-known local attorney Don Boyajian. Garrett says Boyajian quickly agreed to pay the bill for demolition and overtime for city workers.

McGrath also claims the chief waited for City Engineer Russ Reeves to leave town on vacation to issue his order.

Since 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, NewsChannel 13 has been trying to reach Boyajian, but the phone call has yet to be returned.

Garrett says McGrath owes a public apology to Boyajian for even suggesting that the emergency demolition might have something to do with saving money on asbestos abatement.

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