City seeks cleanup of Factory Street sites

Watertown’s Factory Square neighborhood. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN  The Factory Square neighborhood soon will be rid of a large dilapidated building that has a collapsed roof.

The city is taking steps to demolish the four-story building at 129 Factory Square that was once the home of Perkins Scrap Metal.

The city will bill its owner, 129 Factory St. LLC, $165,325 to tear down the condemned building.

The city had ordered the building’s owner to demolish it but failed to do so, said Carolyn Meunier, the city’s code enforcement supervisor.

“It’s an unsafe building,” she said, adding there are a handful of neighboring businesses. “It needs to be taken down and removed.”

City Assessor Brian S. Phelps said the dilapidated building is owned by Jim Cox, who owns a neighboring business, Seaway Sales. He could not be reached for comment.

Last spring, the city filed legal action against the owner of the property in an attempt to have the owners clean up the site.

In April, city firefighters were performing exercises on a ladder truck and noticed that the roof had collapsed. The city’s Code Enforcement Bureau determined the four-story building was unsafe and condemned it.

Abscope Environmental, Canastota, is expected to start work on the demolition in the next few weeks.

That demolition will coincide with plans to tear down six deteriorated houses that the city took from back taxes. The houses are at 512 Jefferson St., 565 Burdick St., 603 Boyd St., 759 Mill St., 632 Factory St. and 506 Binsse St.

The city’s Engineering Department concluded it made more sense to demolish the houses than to sell them. Bronze Contracting LLC, Remsen, will be paid about $90,000 for the job.

“We are dedicated to cleaning up neighborhoods,” Mrs. Meunier said.

The funding for those demolitions will come out of the city’s general fund, City Comptroller James E. Mills said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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