DEC pushes for tank removal

The city of Johnstown-owned former Hi-Way Oil site on North Perry Street. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The state Department of Environmental Conservation is putting pressure on the city to remove tanks at the former Hi-Way Oil Inc. gas station, which the city owns for delinquent taxes.

“They want to get them out before something does happen,” City Engineer Christopher Vose told the Common Council Monday night.

Vose had told the council last November that the city had acquired the former gas station at 237 N. Perry St. for delinquent taxes, and were looking to remove tanks last spring. The council in January hired C.T. Male Associates of Johnstown for $12,500 for the project, but the underground storage tanks haven’t been removed yet.

In January, Vose said a separate part of any project will include a review of the property’s asbestos situation, which would cost about $1,000. He said the hope is that the asbestos situation will be clean so the city can do further work in-house instead of hiring a more expensive outside contractor.

Vose reported to the council Monday that the DEC is asking the city to now remove the tanks. He said C.T. Male will do two sample borings, which can provide proper data to the future contractor doing the tank removal.

“That puts going out to bid in October,” Vose said. “Ideally, I want to be done with this by the end of the year.”

He said he would like contractor bids due for the project by Nov. 1, with council approval of a low bid by Nov. 6.

Continuing his city engineer’s report, Vose said the recent city cleanup program went well. He said two truckloads of tires were collected.

“It seemed to be successful,” Vose said.

Vose also reported this season’s street paving went well, with the city currently about $10,000 under budget.

“I’m very happy with how the streets came out,” he stated.

The city this year had a $408,795 paving contract with Peckham Road Corp. of Queensbury, Warren County, to resurface eight city streets.

They were: Burton Street, from Wells Street to Pearl Street; Maplewood Avenue – North Perry Street to Parkwood Avenue; North Perry Street — from Washington Street to Baker Street; Pleasant Avenue – from Irving Street to Hoffman Street; all of West Decker Street; all of Baker Street; South Market Street — from Main Street to Madison Avenue; and West Montgomery Street — from Miller to Perry Street.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at