Demolition of the Konica Minolta facility on Charles St. is expected to resume in a few weeks once testing of a contaminated area is completed, said Mayor Ralph Suozzi at a town hall meeting at Landing Elementary School Wednesday.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) stopped the work to test the construction debris to determine whether it needs to be disposed of as a hazardous material. Suozzi said the contractor doing the job told him it would be finished in a matter of weeks once the testing is done.
The work was first halted by the city a month prior, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was called after the city discovered that workers weren't wearing vests and helmets. Suozzi said there had also been concern over debris that was falling on a neighboring home's property, and that not enough water was being used to control the dust produced.
Several of the 21 residents at the meeting asked about the project's progress.
"When you drive through there 10, 15 times a day - on the left it looks like a war zone," said resident Nicole Larson.
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To questions about the site's future, Suozzi said the owner, a Japanese company, is looking to sell the land, which it put on the market in 2007 for $53 million.
The company has been paying $300,000 annually in taxes on the property with the building standing, a revenue chunk the city will lose next year.
Suozzi said he is interested in preserving the former Bobley Publishing building, which is more than a century old and located across the street. It was part of Konica Minolta's facility but is not presently being demolished.
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