Press-Republican

Local News

January 20, 2014

Vacant buildings point to deeper issue in Mooers

MOOERS — The mountain of rubble on the corner of Route 11 and Maple Street means one empty building on that stretch is on its way out.

Others, however, are likely to remain vacant, officials say, unless public water, sewer or both can be installed.

The buildings are too close together to allow enough land for proper individual septic systems, says Town Supervisor Jeff Menard.

“That was part of the issue with this building here,” he said of the former E.F. Drown Funeral Home, which fell into a state of disrepair as it sat empty.

Across Route 11 is the former Neverette’s Grocery and apartment building, long unused. 

“There are three or four houses that are vacant,” Menard said.

And not far away is the former post office building with apartments upstairs.

A project to rehab that structure, the supervisor said, “is on hold right now because of septic (issues).”

‘LONG OVERDUE’

Menard and previous Town Supervisor Cory Ross had both cited the blighted Mooers hamlet area as top-priority issues during their campaigns, as did Town Council candidates.

“I want to try to get a sewer system in the village,” Menard said last week.

He’ll be networking at the upcoming Association of Towns conference in New York City to learn just how to go about winning funding, he said.

“It’s been a long time overdue,” Code Enforcement Officer Jess Dixon said. “There are some nice homes (on Route 11), but water quality? I’m not sure.”

As well, he said, property owners that have vacant buildings need to step up and take care of them so they don’t end up like the old Funeral Home.

“It’s not just along Main Street (Route 11),” he said. “Something needs to be done with them before an accident happens.”

Officials were particularly concerned about the Funeral Home, as children walk to Mooers Elementary School past that property, school buses stop there.

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