MALONE - The former Sarvis' Mini-Mall will remain standing, and the land around it is soon to be issued a clean bill of health, said Franklin County officials Thursday.
A report should be issued in about 30 days that will declare all the contaminates of the soil around the abandoned gas station removed, and the property should be ready to sell at the next county auction, said county Manager Jim Feeley.
That site and another one in Malone, both of which the county had taken title to, are being cleaned up by the state Department of Environmental Conservation with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka stimulus).
Feeley noted that these two properties are not getting a free ride - the DEC is required to seek out the previous landowners to try to get their costs reimbursed.
The Malone site, a former Alaskan Oil gas station on U.S. Route 11, is extremely contaminated, and that building was already knocked down.
County Legislator Tim Burpoe, D-Saranac Lake, said he thinks it is silly that some owners of other contaminated sites around the county are complaining about their land not being chosen for cleanup.
"Somebody has to be picked for these projects," Burpoe said. The sites will now be sold off as commercial property, and "I think that is a significant savings and benefit to all of the people of Franklin County."
County Legislator Gordon Crossman, D-Malone, said many people have a misconception that the projects are being paid for with county money.
Burpoe said that even if the county was spending the money, he would still support it.
"This would be a fantastic way of spending money," Burpoe said. "It's cleaning up the environment and remediating hazardous waste. We shouldn't be apologizing for doing the right thing."
County Legislator Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake, noted that Tupper Lake is looking to apply for a grant that would help private owners of other possibly contaminated sites test to see if they qualify for brownfield cleanup grants.
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