Council considers building demolition

The building at 70 Division St. First Ward Supervisor Marie Born spoke with the Common Council about tearing down is shown on Thursday. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

The building at 70 Division St. First Ward Supervisor Marie Born spoke with the Common Council about tearing down is shown on Thursday. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

GLOVERSVILLE –City First Ward Supervisor Marie Born came before the Common Council on Tuesday to request they look into tearing down a former factory in the city.

Born approached the council about the former glove factory at 70 Division Street. She said the building was once a successful family-run glove maker, but fell into disrepair after deaths in the family and illnesses. She said it changed hands between two Tenneesee-based firms in the 1990s following the sale by the original family.

“It was never opened again as a glove factory,” Born said.

The last owner is now deceased, and no family members can be located, Born said.

No taxes were paid since 2011, with Fulton County paying the back due taxes up until this year. According to Born, the county will no longer do so.

“This building has been allowed to deteriorate for many years, getting worse and worse every year,” Born said. “This is not just an abandoned building, but a public health issue now.”

Born said that the building’s foundation is unstable and cracking and shingles are falling off. A variety of animals have made a home inside the property, raising public health concerns.

“The health issues lie with the bats, and the rats, and pigeons, and the squirrels, and the cats that go in and out of the building and leave their waste,” Born said.

Numerous small windows have broken over the years, and Born said neighbors she has spoken with have informed her they can hear the glass falling during periods of high winds.

“You can hear the tinkling of the glass breaking and falling from their living rooms,” Born said. “They hear the tinkling of the glass and they run inside.”

Born said the building should be condemned and torn down.

The county demolition team would not be able to take down the building, because the property is too tall and they don’t have the required equipment. She said additionally, the building is not owned by the county, a requirement for the county demolition team to take a property down.

She said the county could help find a company to take the building down, and the board of supervisors could approve the tipping fees at the county landfill being reduced for the debris the teardown generates.

“This is not a simple undertaking and will be expensive, but necessary,” Born said.

Born said she understands there are many buildings in the city that could be torn down.

“But I can assure you, there is no one building worse than this building,” she said. “It is unsafe and will eventually come to harm someone.”

She encouraged the council to vote to condemn the building and have it torn down. She said contingency funds could be used to pay for the demolition.

Born said she will seek out grants or other funding to help pay for the building to be torn down.

Mayor Dayton King said the cost of tearing down the building could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Born said she can’t give an exact figure, but said according to a state official could be around $190,000.

“It is to point now where it is a major public health issue,” she said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.

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