Could an automaker soon move in to Herkimer County?
FRANKFORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - Frankfort Mayor Frank Moracco says he has been talking with officials from an automaker which is interested in building a plant at the old Union Tools site in the Village. Right now, Moracco will not release any details as to which automaker that is, he has been in contact with. Tuesday morning, Moracco organized a meeting at the Frankfort Village Hall to get an update on the status of the cleanup of the site which sits on Main St.. The meeting included a number of officials from the New York State Department of Conservation as well as the State Department of Health and the attorney for the owners of the site, Ames True Temper out of Indiana. The cleanup is being paid for by the owners. You may recall, this is the same site that was being cleaned up last year, when in August, twelve of the buildings on the site caught fire. That fire was ruled accidental. Mayor Moracco says the automaker was looking to begin building on the site in the next several months, but during the Tuesday morning meeting, DEC officials told him the earliest the entire site could be cleaned up would be about two years from now. There was talk of trying to clean up a 2 to 3 acre portion of the 32 acre site so that section could be used for some immediate development, but DEC officials say that cleanup could take longer than the next several months, and if a section were to be cleaned, that portion would still be considered contaminated until the entire site was cleaned up. Moracco says a company looking to develop a large plant would not locate to a site that is deemed contaminated. So now, Moracco says he will talk with the automaker and point them in the direction of other marketable sites within Herkimer County. He does say one of the draws of the automaker to Frankfort is that the village has its own municipal electric. He says unfortunately there just isn't much other available land in the village. Moracco says he's not sure whether the automaker would be willing to move to another municipality in Herkimer County which doesn't have its own municipal electric, but he will do everything he can to get them to consider it. A far as the old Union tools site, the attorney for its current owner says demolition of the two remaining buildings left on the site will begin on March 25th. Once demolition is complete, the DEC will begin to install sample wells used to collect ground water as well as begin other data collection. Once the testing is complete, a timeline and method of cleanup of the site will be made. But again, if all goes well, the testing remediation plan could be complete in the spring of 2014. Cleanup could begin soon after that, and could be complete as early as the spring of 2015.