Tag Archives: West Webster

What can be done with that ugly West Webster corner?

20 Jan

Every once in a while I remember to log onto the Town of Webster website and check in with Supervisor Flaherty’s weekly column. Usually I find something interesting and perhaps even learn something I didn’t know.

When I was doing that recently, I came across a column he wrote back in September which addressed a thorny issue I’ve thought about often: cleaning up the corner of Ridge Rd. and Gravel Rd. in West Webster.

You know the place: the Jade Palace Restaurant sits on the northeast corner and the old Webster Furniture Strippers on the northwest corner. The restaurant itself is pretty unslightly and overgrown, but the former Furniture Strippers shop is even worse. It’s downright decrepit, an embarrassment to the hamlet.

I had heard for years that the reason the Furniture Strippers shop has not yet been razed was due to environmental concerns regarding the chemicals they used, which seeped into the ground. Basically, the property is a toxic waste site, and no one wants to take responsibility for it.

Supervisor Flaherty goes into a lot of political background in his column about how the owners have defaulted on their taxes, meaning the county can take possession of the property. But because of the environmental issues, the county wants nothing to do with it. You can read all of that background here if you’d like. But I was interested in the bottom line: when will someone bulldoze that building?

Here’s what he had to say about that:

The first part of the plan is to get the DEC reports on the building in the last 30 years and if they show that the environmental issues at the site are “minimal or non-existent,” the County may take title to the property and market it for sale. At that point, a developer most likely would want to buy it if they saw the cost to take down the building was NOT going to have hundreds of thousands of dollars of environmental remediation. If the DEC reports are not definitive enough to have Monroe County take title, we will move on to plan B which most likely entails a phase 1 or 2 environmental study of the property to determine the true environmental risk and what needs remediation.

All of which means this issue is STILL not going away anytime soon. But Supervisor Flaherty does assure us that he’s still working on it, writing,

I am not comfortable just throwing my hands up and saying “oh well… nothing we can do. It’s Monroe County’s decision.” Fact is, the property is IN Webster. It is an eyesore at best, and a safety risk at worst. It also is impeding the development of that corner and all neighborhoods that spawn off of it.

Let’s hope his commitment stays strong. West Webster deserves better.

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