There were some heated moments at Thursday night's city council meeting in Troy. The issue was the controversial demolition project on King Street that's suddenly come to a halt. Erin Vannella has more./I>
TROY, N.Y. -- "Was there asbestos? Sure, there was asbestos in the shingles. Maybe, if there was linoleum in there, yeah. Minimal asbestos," said Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett.
"It's full of it! No I, hold on, you said what you said, now I'm gonna say what I'm gonna say," said Troy City Council Member Mark McGrath.
Disagreements over who did what at the August 5th King Street demolition gets resolved with finger pointing.
Garrett said, "If I didn't do something, we'd be having a meeting here, if someone got hurt, saying to me, why did you do something? So I'm pretty much between a rock and hard place here."
As the city explains, Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett contact property owner Donald Boyajian. Boyajian gave Garrett contractor Michael Cristo's name.
"He asked me to contact the fire chief. And the understanding was that there would be a bid. But because the owner was willing to pay for it, the chief didn't really need to get a bid," said Michael Cristo of M. Cristo Construction.
And no bid meant the building could fall without consulting any other city officials.
Garrett said, "The building needed to come down. And afterward, I stayed there to make sure people didn't get close to the building and everything was good."
Boyajian says he has plans to redevelop the site and had plans to demo eventually anyway.
"This is unfortunately a black eye, which I am very unhappy about," Boyajian said.
The city, while claiming no procedural errors, says they'll make sure next time, there's greater transparency.
"That's the outcome of this. This should never happen again. This confusion that was created, we're trying to eliminate that," Mayor Lou Rosamilia said.
This fire chief did say he'd conduct air monitoring next time, despite the fact that the building's construction predated the invention of asbestos.
And a note on this stop work order, it requires, as the contractor explained, that the buildings next to this site be examined for any contamination.