MALONE — State inspectors, elected officials and code officers will brainstorm Thursday about the possible collapse of a condemned building here.
To do nothing about the empty structure at 395 West Main St. would sidestep initial expenses “but would place the public safety at extreme risk,” said Engineer John Macarthur of Beardsley Design Associates, who recently issued a report to village officials.
“The potential future costs and liabilities would be multiple millions of dollars.”
The meeting, set for 1 p.m. at the Village Offices on Elm Street, will include village and Franklin County officials and representatives from the State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration and the offices of Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru).
Village Code Enforcement Officer Jim Haley shared interior photographs of 395 West Main St. with the Press-Republican that show a crack in the east-facing wall so deep and wide a grown man could fit inside.
A huge section of concrete and steel sub-basement floor has collapsed, and several columns supporting basement floor beams are missing.
The remaining floor beams are pulled out about 5 inches from their anchor joists in the stone wall, leaving about 2 inches of beam support intact.
The building has been condemned since Jan. 28, 2010, but recent inspections revved up concern about the structure’s stability.
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Macarthur inspected the site twice and told Haley the upper 45 feet of the 90-foot structure could easily shift sideways if it falls — it could turn and collapse into the street, sending debris into traffic on the Main Street bridge.
The east wall could then give way and tumble into the Salmon River, potentially crushing the village’s main sewer line, which runs nearby.
The rest of the falling debris could land on the building to the east, which houses For Arts Sake.