County Executive Jason Garnar has signed a declaration of Public Emergency to begin the removal of a blighted property in the City of Binghamton.
At the beginning of August, Garnar announced the sale of the former Phillips Foundry site located within the Brandywine industrial corridor to LCP Group of Vestal for $5,000.
The dilapidated complex runs along Whitney Avenue and Frederick and Montgomery Streets.
The county took ownership of the property in 2015 due to tax foreclosure.
LCP had agreed to demolish the structures to clear the property for sale to another developer.
Binghamton Mayor Rich David opposed the sale citing interest in the property from two nearby entities, DiRenzo Brothers Construction and the Rescue Mission.
The Broome County legislature sided with David and voted against the sale.
Now Garnar is declaring the Public Emergency stating that the building is an extreme danger to the public and needs to be demolished immediately.
“Once again the legislative majority voted to put politics over people. I have a responsibility to tax payers and public safety. And I have absolutely no tolerance for mayors or county legislatures who want to play political games when public safety is at stake,” said Garnar.
In response to the declaration, Legislature Chairman Daniel J Reynolds released a statement saying that they agree the building needs to come down but the process needs to be done in a fair and transparent manner.
He says that a proper RFP process or auction would have allowed stakeholders to competitively bid for the project, instead, the County Executive tried to handle the process behind closed doors to make a backroom deal.
Reynolds also said this is nothing more than a ploy to cover for his lack of action since the County took ownership of this property.
In Mayor David’s response he says it is nothing more than a run around a transparent process to sell public property, a run around City Hall and the Broome County Legislature, and a run around logic and common sense.