B y Jaime Thomas
By the end of this week, Edgeco Environmental, Inc. officials say the pile of rubble on Main Street will be gone.
If not, they’re going to pay.
At a meeting Monday night, the Granville Village Board unanimously voted to begin on Monday citing the company every single day the pile still remains.
“This is something that could possibly cost the village money, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s beyond the village’s not getting involved with this,” Mayor Brian LaRose said. Village Code Enforcement Officer Fred Roberts will continue to write citations daily that will force Edgeco to come to local court.
Current fines are set at a minimum of $100 for a first offense or up to 20 days in jail, $200 for a second offense with up to 60 days in jail and $500 for a third offense or up to 90 days in jail.
During Monday’s meeting, the board reiterated the fact that despite continual prompting and pushing by village and other officials, as well as a letter from LaRose last month setting a deadline, Edgeco has dragged the job out for more than 150 days.
That span does not fall under what most would consider “a timely manner,” the wording in the original contract. And those five months are far from the week-long project Edgeco’s owner, Paul Pinkans, estimated to the mayor in late spring.
Edgeco officials have offered excuse after excuse about the project, from broken equipment to inability to have an air quality monitor on site. After a month of correspondence by mail, phone and email, the village set a deadline for this Friday, Dec. 6.
“I understand that these cancellations are not directly within your control but this project has gone on way too long…Simply put, there are no more acceptable excuses,” Village Clerk Rick Roberts wrote in a letter, which explained the possibility of citations. Village officials also plan to file formal complaints with the state’s Department of Labor and the county.
The board, except Frank Caruso who was not present, all supported the idea of stronger action, though some expressed hesitancy of taking on the village taking on financial responsibility for the cleanup.
“The mayor is very prudent in going after the company responsible for it. The most expedient way is to put financial pressure on Edgeco, and they need to do it or they’ll lose big amounts of money every day they don’t,” said Michael Martin, village attorney.
On Tuesday John Winn, an attorney representing the two former buildings’ owners, said Edgeco officials told him they would be back this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“And they anticipate that’s enough to take what’s left, and if not they’ll return Monday,” Winn said. Though an Edgeco worker on site recently estimated there were about 20 loads to go, Winn thought that number was very high. Company representatives said they will use two trucks this week, a promise they have made in the past, but on previous workdays they have loaded only one.
Winn said he guesses the company would load the trucks on alternating days, dumping at the asbestos processing facility outside of Rochester on the off days.
One of the glitches that has slowed down the cleanup process has been the requirement that an air monitor be on site, due to the presence of asbestos.
Warren Panzer Engineering, the company Edgeco hired for that purpose, recently shut down its Albany branch. The company’s main office is in New York City, which has made scheduling more difficult. However, Warren Panzer representatives told Winn a monitor would arrive in Granville Tuesday evening and would stay locally through Friday.
Should the promised work not happen, the village will continue to take action. The board discussed continuing to pressure both the property owners and their insurance companies to make sure the mess is removed.
“It seems like our hands were tied, and now they’re untied,” Trustee Paul Labas said.