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DEC letter says they assume debris at Utica councilman's property contains asbestos

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been investigating the property of a Utica City Councilman.

First District Councilman Frank Vescera is demolishing part of 635-637 Mary Street. The city codes department put a stop to the work after someone in the area of Vescera's Mohawk Street business, K Music, called the fire department to report smoke in the area. Fire Marshals say they believed Vescera was burning construction and demolition debris from Mary Street in a stove at K Music, something Vescera vehemently denies.

DEC officials have now sent a notice of violation letter to Vescera's brother, Christopher, whose name appears first on the deed for the Mary Street property. The letter says that, because no asbestos abatement survey was done for Mary Street, it is assumed that debris from the structure contains asbestos and was illegally disposed of.

The letter is not a ticket and does not impose any fines; it gives the two 30 days to properly dispose of any remaining construction and demolition debris from both locations. DEC attorneys will determine if there will be any further enforcement.

Reached by phone, Frank Vescera said he hadn't received any letters from the DEC.

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