JAMESTOWN – Crews are getting ready to remove debris left behind following a massive fire in the City of Jamestown this summer.
Several fire companies were called to the former Jamestown Royal Factory at 308 Crescent Street in June after police algae two teenagers set the abandoned building ablaze.
The City of Jamestown Director of Development, Crystal Surdyk, tells WNY News Now the city council okayed the use of “landfill credits” during their meeting this month, which has kickstarted the cleanup process.
Surdyk says the municipality is taking the financial burden of cleaning up the site, since the owner of the property did not have insurance on the structure.
“We’re able to use 826 landfill credits which should be able to get most, if not all of the debris taken care of, so we will not have any additional charge with the landfill to take care of that,” explained Surdyk. “Which is huge because the cost to do that without those credits would have been astronomical.”
The contractors were able to disconnect utilities in the area, and have filed for their demolition permit to begin working soon.
“It will probably take a couple of weeks to get all of that remaining debris knocked down, and then load it up, and haul it off to the landfill,” continued Surdyk, who explained why it has taken so long for crews to actually remove the rubble. “There is a required period of time where the debris will be covered because of the cause of the demolition being fire, it is unknown what kind of potential air quality contaminants there might be with something like that.”
As crews get to work, the development director expects there to be hiccups along the way.
“I’m guessing that certain decisions will need to be made as far as there is retaining wall that should stay, or if they should take all of that out, just given that the building was built into the side of a hill, and part of that structure likely is holding up the road,” said Surdyk.
She says as time goes on, the city will likely take the building’s owner to court in an effort to recoup some of the lost tax dollars used in the cleanup. A neighbor who was also impacted by the massive flames says he plans to sue the owner as well.
Jamestown Police say those two teens, both 14 and 15-years-old girls, are facing charges of second-degree arson in Chautauqua County Family Court.