Clean-up in Canjo started

Beech-Nut site debris piles being removed

Former Beech-Nut factory in Canajoharie on the Exit 29 side is shown. A clean-up including removal of the asbestos has began. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

CANAJOHARIE — The first steps to the revitalization of the former Beech-Nut factory in the village have finally started.

The clean-up of the debris piles that were left behind by the previous owner began Jan. 2.

“This is the first step to a long road to redevelopment,” said Mayor Francis Avery. “We’re optimistic this will be successful.”

Ken Rose, CEO of the Montgomery County Business Development Center said the debris piles that are currently being removed are on the east side of the Beech-Nut site. He said anyone driving off of Exit 29 can see those debris piles and the work being done.

Rose anticipates the clean-up of the debris piles should be completed by either the first or second week of February.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said the clean-up process is the first big step in the rehabilitation of the site.

“Naturally, this is an ongoing process,” Ossenfort said. He said while the clean-up of the debris piles is going on, they are having an analysis done to determine what is viable for the site. He said they are also continuing the community outreach to get the community’s input on the site.

“We’re excited for what the future holds,” Ossenfort said.

To cover the costs of the clean-up of the debris piles is a grant of $300,000 awarded by National Grid Brownfield Redevelopment Program.

“The clean-up has gone pretty well and there will potentially be some money left over from the $300,000 grant,” Rose said.

Another $500,000 grant awarded to the village in 2017 from the Restore New York Program, which will be going toward site work and demolition.

Rose said they have recently applied for a $1 million and $5 million grant from the Restore New York Program and are currently waiting to see if they will be award those grants. Rose said if one or both of those grants are successful, they would then begin working on the asbestos abatement.

Avery said before anything can be demolished, there has to be an asbestos examination performed to determine what is contaminated and was isn’t.

Rose said the clean-up process will take a year or two to get the site where it needs to be which is having the site restored for re-use for the village.

“This isn’t going to be a quick fix,” Avery said. “We’re looking at years. There are so many hurdles with trying to find funding.”