June 17, 2009


County seeks quick asbestos removal

South Main Street properties will be demolished to make way for TC3 classrooms

Staff Reporter

The county is seeking state approval to remove asbestos from its south Main Street properties in a way that would expedite the process in advance of a land swap with Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation.
The three properties formerly housed the Moose Lodge and Robbins Vending.
In April the Syracuse-based firm Barton & Loguidice conducted an asbestos survey finding asbestos in the floor tiles, window glaze, door caulks, roof and pipe insulation in all the buildings.
County Administrator Scott Schrader said Barton & Loguidice is preparing a document requesting a variance from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that would grant approval of removing only the asbestos that is “friable,” which means the particles can be inhaled.
Schrader reported on the situation to legislators at Tuesday’s Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting.
“The variance allows us to take care of the friable asbestos and then the non-friable asbestos can be removed as part of the demolition. It will stay in the demolition debris and won’t have to be removed,” Schrader said.
Schrader said the county should know within three weeks whether or not it receives the variance from the DEC allowing this removal.
Once the variance is granted, the county can go out to bid for its removal.
Buildings and Grounds Chairman Dan Tagliente (D-7th Ward) said removing the asbestos in bulk could lower the cost.
“We hope it will be much cheaper if we can get a variance,” Tagliente said.
Schrader said the removal was originally anticipated to cost up to $100,000 and removing it in this way could reduce the cost to approximately $30,000 to $50,000.
The cost of disposing of the asbestos will be paid out of the county’s $2.8 million share of funds the state was awarded about five years ago through settlement with tobacco companies.
The buildings on site will be torn down and TC3 will replace them with a larger academic building that will be approximately 8,000 to 10,000 square feet.
The county plans to move its Horizon House adult-care program to TC3’s current building that is approximately 3,400-square feet, located on West Court Street. The college’s appraisals on the properties were not known as of press time today.
The TC3 foundation is a private, non-profit entity whose mission is to financially support the college. It owns the extension center building that the county is acquiring in the land swap.
The county estimates the value of the West Court Street property at about $225,000 to $250,000 and the south Main Street property with the buildings removed is to be about $325,000 to $350,000.
Schrader said he expects to have a resolution for legislators to consider by the July 23 Legislative session allowing the county landfill to accept the material.
“I anticipate by the July committee meeting to have resolved most of this and have an answer from the DEC as well as the cost and language issues with the lease worked out,” Schrader said.
Schrader said it will cost the county about $7,000 to $10,000 to have Barton & Loguidice draw up the bid documents and the document seeking a variance from the DEC.


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