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Former Beech-Nut site cleaned up

Canajoharie town Supervisor Pete Vroman, Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort, Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) and Canajoharie village Mayor Francis Avery. (Photo submitted)

FONDA — The debris left behind at the former Beech-Nut site has been cleaned as the county moves forward with plans to re-develop the site.

County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort made the announcement Wednesday that the debris removal has been successfully completed at the Exit 29 redevelopment site.

The project involved the cleanup and removal of debris piles that were located on the exterior of the former Beech-Nut facility.

According to a news release, a certified project manager performed daily inspections of the abatement work for compliance and project specifications. Final air samples passed clearance standards before the containment was disassembled, Ossenfort said in the release.

Montgomery County officials toured the Exit 29 site Friday with Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook), Ossenfort, village of Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery and town of Canajoharie Supervisor Pete Vroman.

The group updated Faso on the progress at the site, including describing the process of the debris removal and the next steps they plan to take with the re-development of the site.

“I’m pleased that the first point of physical progress is completed,” Ossenfort said. “It was a great opportunity to give Congressman Faso a tour and we look forward to his continued partnership as we move forward in the redevelopment process.”

The cleanup of the site has been a long process for Montgomery County.

Abandoned by a series of owners who took valuable metals for recycling and then abandoned the property leaving piles of concrete and trash, the county and two municipalities were tasked with the abatement and debris removal.

At first, the village of Canajoharie applied for one of the Restore New York grants, but was left out of the awards by the state.

The county stepped in to help and asked the state to consider the site as a “special project” given it is considered a large brownfield, which is any former industrial or commercial site currently not in use.

In March, Montgomery County received a $6 million award through Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative. That award allowed the county to begin the actual process of getting rid of the debris.

“I commend Montgomery County’s redevelopment efforts and collaboration with EPA to clean up the site,” Faso said. “The village of Canajoharie has a beautiful downtown and I will work to assist Mayor Avery and County Executive Ossenfort in whatever way I can as this project continues.”

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