BC Executive Jason Garnar, Mayor Rich David dispute over sale of blighted factory

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A dispute has broken out between Broome County Executive Jason Garnar and Binghamton Mayor Rich David on what should be done with a blighted old factory building within the city’s Brandywine Corridor.

Garnar held a news conference Wednesday outside of the former Phillips Foundry facility not far from Route 363.

The dilapidated, sprawling structure with much of its roof caved in takes up nearly three acres bordered by Frederick Street, Montgomery Street and Whitney Avenue.

Garnar announced that the county is selling the property to LCP Group of Vesal for $5,000.

LCP will tear down the structure this year and then look to sell it to someone else to develop.

Garnar says that many see that area of the city as having great potential because of its proximity to Interstate 81 and Route 17.

But he says the cost of tearing down the buildings has thwarted earlier projects.

“We’ve got to demolish a lot of these properties.  First of all, we’ve got to get them into the hands of private people, not government people.  And we have to get them demolished.  And these are not easy buildings to bring down,” said Garnar.

Mayor David released a strongly worded statement Wednesday opposing the sale.

David says that another impediment to developing the area east of the Brandywine Highway is the patchwork of ownerships among the various parcels.

He thinks the county should retain control while seeking other means, such as grants through the Land Bank, to tear the buildings down.

David says that would make it easier to bundle the property with others nearby into a larger development.

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