Lamont Engineers is working on a stabilization plan for a block of Margaretville buildings that was emptied and barricaded after last week’s flood caused a slight shift in the center buildings. Code Enforcement Officer Pat Davis condemn the structures, meaning that the buildings are considered unsafe, and occupancy is prohibited, until approved repairs are made.
The Margaretville Village Board met September 9 with owners of the four buildings that share common walls. The findings of two structural reports received from private engineering firms were explained. They basically offered two choices — either the entire block be demolished or that the foundation be stabilized. Brendon Becker, an engineer with Lamont which supplied one of the reports, said the latter is do-able and confirmed that he will be meeting next week with contractors to assess the condition of the block, which backs on the Binnekill stream, to develop a stabilization plan to be paid for by the Village. That work is expected to be reimbursed by FEMA.
The plan will be submitted within two to three weeks, along with a cost estimate, and a proposed contractor to do the work, said CEO Davis. It will be up to the owners to determine if they can pay for the project, but Mayor Bill Stanton said all expressed a desire to try to save the block and reopen their businesses.
“The Village is willing to work with them and will help in any way we can,” he said, but he noted that the Village cannot pay for the stabilization repairs.
Owners are being allowed to go into the buildings (no more than three at a time, accompanied by Davis or fire department personnel), to remove remaining debris and clear the basements so that the engineer and contractors can get a better look at the foundations from the inside.