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New docs: Mounting frustration over Troy parking garage issues for months

August 30, 2019 07:42 PM

13 Investigates has obtained more than 100 pages of records from the New York State Office of General Services that appear to show ongoing concerns at the Uncle Sam Parking Garage in Troy dating back to March of 2019. The documents contain emails, pictures, and a structural assessment report on the garage in question from 2016.

NewsChannel 13 has combed through the records between state employees, the vice president of Bryce Companies, and the owner of the garage, David Bryce. Many of the electronic interactions outlining ongoing concerns over pothole problems and other issues including leaks, as well as efforts to fix the problems and a timeframe for repairs.

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13 Investigates first reported on conditions at the Uncle Sam Parking Garage in Troy in early August. Dozens of new documents obtained by NewsChannel 13 show mounting frustrations over the issues by state employees. On Thursday, state officials told NewsChannel 13 they were not aware of any updates on repairs as far as they knew and the owner of the Uncle Sam Parking Garage David Bryce isn't commenting.

In one email, Uncle Sam owner David Bryce made it clear a plan was in place to demolish the garage in the next few years. So is the garage safe to park in?  A question 13 Investigates has been trying to figure out. Company Vice President Denton Bryce told state employees the garage was "100-percent safe" earlier in the summer, and that the structural assessment report they provided state officials from 2016 revealed it was in good condition, despite being 40 years old and questionable maintenance (according to Denton Bryce) by the previous owner.  David Bryce bought the property from the city of Troy back in 2010 according to the city assessor's office.

An email from the Troy Waterfront Farmer's Market sent late Friday afternoon stated, "All four decks of the Uncle Sam Parking Garage will be open to market customers this Saturday. However, that garage may need to undergo repairs in the foreseeable future which could limit the number of spaces there for a while. In the meantime, you may want to explore other free weekend parking opportunities in downtown troy anyway, just because."

On Saturday, August 31, 2019 thousands will take advantage of everything the Troy Farmer's Market has to offer, much like they've been doing all summer long. Many parking for free, in the adjacent Uncle Sam Garage, where a picture of a cone covered gaping hole on an upper level was shared with 13 Investigates in June. 

About a half dozen steel plates still mark problem spots on the property, and now, according to dozens of documents obtained through the "Freedom of Information Law" it appears the structural issues inside the garage were on everyone's radar. Reports show suggested repairs and timelines.

"I have received significant complaints about the condition of the parking garage and potholes," wrote Mike Sergent with the NYS Office of General Services in one email.

Another email from March of 2019 to a state official announced, "it's like an obstacle course."

Around the same time, the state even went so far as to tell the owner's son they would withhold rent payments as long as the problems persisted.  "The longer you let this linger, the longer the setoff deduction in rent will last," stated Bob Besso with the NYS Office of General Services.

On June 17, 2019 a state employee emailed:

"A large hole opened up today on the third floor and a lot of cement and debris fell onto the second floor of the garage… if falling cement hits someone or a car it could cause serious injury or car/property damage," Edward Delehanty with New York State wrote. 

Another state employee responded, "There are now full holes between floors with concrete falling," Paul Danager with the state Department of Labor responded.

That same day, the garage owner was ordered to cordon off the area to "protect and prevent any injuries or accidents. Adding, "I have been requesting repairs be made to the garage since April.

Credits

Jill Konopka

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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