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King Street demolition debate to be held in Troy

Updated: 08/15/2013 6:18 PM
Created: 08/15/2013 3:36 PM WNYT.com
By: John McLoughlin

TROY - There could be some fireworks Thursday night coming Troy City Hall when the City Council Public Safety Committee meets, and one councilman demands answers about the emergency demolition of an old building said to be rife with asbestos.

Councilman Mark McGrath has been claiming that the fire chief gave the go-ahead for an emergency demolition job so that the extra cost of asbestos abatement could be avoided.

The owner of the property, and the head of the demolition company both denied that to NewsChannel 13 that the Christo Demolition Company simply did what it was told to do by Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett, who says the old building on King Street was extremely dangerous.

Michael Cristo, who also happens to be a county legislator, says the chief has the legal authority to make that call.

Cristo says there was "No scheme…the fire chief did absolutely nothing wrong, the mayor did nothing wrong, and I certainly did nothing wrong.”

Mark McGrath, one of just two republicans on the city council has been claiming since last week that the democratic administration waited until City Engineer Russ Reeves left town on vacation for the fire chief to give the demolition order.

He says that the city has known forever that the building was loaded with asbestos, and that this was a big scheme to avoid the added cost of asbestos abatement

Well known attorney Don Boyajian owns the property, and Boyajian says there was no scheme whatsoever.

He says the fire chief called him, told him to had to come down, and Boyajian says Cristo Demolition was a name given him a few years ago by the city.

Boyajian told NewsChannel 13 over the phone that the idea of a scheme is "Absolutelty crazy. The chief said it was an emergency, would I be willing to pay for demolition. I said yes, if it was reasonable.

That public safety meeting begins at Thursday night at city hall.

Both the owner of the property, Don Boyajian, and the demolition man, Michael Cristo say they will attend Thursday night’s meeting to "set the record straight," as they put it

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