B y Dan King

When McDonald’s in Whitehall closed last August, representatives said it would be “temporary” – but that’s no longer the case.

The business will not be reopening at its Route 4 location McDonald’s corporate officials confirmed last week.

“McDonald’s will not be re-opening the restaurant that had been located on Route 4 in Whitehall, New York,” said McDonald’s spokesperson Nicole Garvey in an email last Wednesday.

Town Supervisor George Armstrong said the same day he signed a building permit for the Argyle-based contractor Hunt Companies to “change the double roof to a single roof.”

Armstrong said that McDonald’s has a “signature roof” that it uses on McDonald’s buildings and that Hunt Companies will be changing the style because it will no longer be a McDonald’s. Workers at Hunt did not return a message for comment on the status of the project.

“I find it truly disappointing,” Armstrong said. “I would have really liked it to have reopened.”

The future of the building remains uncertain, and several residents have voiced concerns that the building would become “an eyesore.”

“Future plans for the land have not been determined at this point,” Garvey said. “We thank the local customers for their patronage, and encourage them to visit our nearest restaurant on Washington Street in Fair Haven, Vermont.”

Armstrong seemed to think that McDonald’s would try to sell the property.

The Route 4 location closed Aug. 22 when then-franchisee Lloyd Schneider said he planned to retire. Corporate officials said at the time that the building would be closed temporarily to undergo renovations.

In November, the sign on Route 4 that once said “McDonald’s ahead on the left” was taken down and replaced with a new sign that has the McDonald’s logo and reads “Fair Haven, Vermont Exit 2, Route 4.” The building has been boarded up and surrounded with a chain link fence. At that time, when asked again, officials would not confirm that the company did not plan to reopen the Route 4 location.

The village of Whitehall annexed the property in 1995, running water and sewer lines out to it. Then on May 9 of that year, the Mt. Carmel Society transferred the seven-acre parcel – which used to be the site of the annual fireworks – to the McDonald’s Corp.

According to Washington County Real Property, the property is assessed at $363,300 and all taxes have been paid on it.

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