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Food locker project may begin soon

WATKINS GLEN--The former Seneca Frosted Food Locker along Route 14 north of Watkins Glen may be coming down soon, according to one village official. Watkins Glen Code Enforcement Officer Greg Larnard said he finally got the paperwork for the Seneca Frosted Food Locker project within the last two weeks, adding demolition should begin soon. He said it could take anywhere from two to five years before the new building is completed. The process will include a week of minor asbestos abatement, followed by demolition and new construction.
The $2.1 million project will replace the food locker with seven new two to three bedroom townhouse units. Previous plans indicated each unit will have three floors with approximately 750 square feet per floor. The original plan for the project anticipated completion by the summer of 2014. While Larnard said he is not sure of everything that caused the delay, he thinks it had something to do with working with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in trying to figure out ways to save the building. However, Larnard added the building is not savable.
Trustee Laurie DeNardo brought up a concern with the building, saying she saw kids entering the structure the evening of Saturday, Oct. 17. Police Chief Tom Struble said it is an ongoing issue, adding it may be time time to board the door up, rather than just lock it.
"In the next couple of weeks, there won't be a building to go in anymore," Larnard said.
Larnard added the senior housing project is looking to be finished around Christmas or the first of the year, adding there are currently apartments that are very close to done. He offered to take the board members on a tour to show them around the middle school as well as the frozen food locker project once that is closer to being done.
In other business:
• The board denied a request to hunt in the land behind the village cemetery, citing liability concerns. Mayor Sam Schimizzi also noted if he were to allow one group of people to hunt on village land, he would have to allow others to hunt it as well.
• The board approved engineering services by Larson Design Group in the amount of $62,800 for the joint wastewater treatment plant construction between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. This was already approved by the joint project committee, but also needs approval from each village individually.

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