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June 7, 2014

City rejects latest plan to address waterfront building

PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh Common Council once again rejected a multi-layered plan to fix a damaged waterfront restaurant building, angering the mayor.

“I’m not sure I am the mayor of this city anymore,” Mayor James Calnon said at Thursday night’s meeting.

“The council does not trust my judgment. I sat in a council chair for seven years, and I saved the taxpayers money, and this is offensive, and yes, I am angry.”

MOLD DAMAGE

Calnon’s outburst came after city councilors rejected a plan to authorize spending up to $17,298 to assess the mold damage on the building that used to house Clare and Carl’s restaurant at Dock Street Landing and come up with a plan to deal with the mess.

The building was damaged by flooding in the spring of 2011 and has sat idle since.

The city is trying to figure out long-term development for the waterfront, and the building may or may not be part of the plans.

But Calnon said there is still activity going on at the waterfront, including several lucrative fishing tournaments held each summer.

It is embarrassing for the city to not even have functioning bathrooms in the building, he said.

The expenditure would have allowed for mold-damage assessment, a remediation plan and oversight of the work.

REVISED COST

The council rejected a similar plan two weeks ago at a cost of up to $30,000, saying it was too much money to spend on a questionable building.

Calnon brought back a revised estimate for this week’s meeting.

But Councilor Josh Kretser (D-Ward 6) said constituents have told him that they are nervous about spending too much money on the building, which could be damaged by flood waters again.

He suggested the city authorize spending only $4,339, to do just the mold assessment.

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