Lawmakers vote unanimously to foreclose on former Beech-Nut plant

July 11, 2017 07:09 PM

CANAJOHARIE - Montgomery County lawmakers have unanimously voted 9-0 to foreclose on the former Beech-Nut site. Residents call the property in the heart of Canajoharie an eyesore. It took a lot of work to get to this point.

"We're taking a big firm step forward related to the foreclosure and an agreement with EPA. It's been a long time in the works, but for us, it's a big day," noted Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort.

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The abandoned former Beech-Nut plant sits empty on a sprawling 27-acre site in the heart of Canajoharie. It's racking up a lot in unpaid taxes. There is contamination and it will cost an estimated $6 million to $10 million to tear down and clean up the site. Extensive studies have been done here.

"We've separated it into two distinct projects. The eastern side is more of a traditional economic development project: do the demo, market it to the private sector. The western side – there’s historical value, the facade lines the downtown and the village, we don't want to lose that, so we're looking at some selective demolition and remediation there," explained Ossenfort.

They'll be focusing on the eastern side first. In addition to the foreclosure vote, the county Legislature was also approving an agreement with the EPA for the agency to release two liens. The county executive says taking it over will show that they're committed to the village and the region.

Peruzzi's Meat Market sits right across the street from the site. John and Sherene Peruzzi have been in business for almost 20 years. They would like to see something go in.

It's just taking up space and it's prime real estate right in the heart of New York State. It's right off the Thruway. It's easy. It's accessible here.  It'd be an awful waste to waste that area, I would think," admitted John Peruzzi.

"It would be tremendous for the whole village. Just jobs in itself. Besides the flow from other counties coming in to shop, hopefully, and look around and hopefully invest," echoed Sherene Peruzzi.

The Peruzzis are split about what should go in there. Mister says a marina as part of a whole summer fun destination and Mrs. says outlet stores.


WNYT Staff

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