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The Village of Monticello held an emergency meeting to address what they will do with the pile of debris left sitting on Pleasant Street and behind Cold Spring Road after six contractors were charged with illegal dumping. Our Eva McKend has the story.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- "This was a set up and a set up all the way from the beginning," said James Snowden, code enforcement officer for the Village of Monticello.
Shouting took over at an emergency meeting in the village. The meeting was called to discuss the plans for the debris that sits on Pleasant Street and the debris dumped near Cold Spring Road.
Snowden described the series of events that have taken place since Thursday in the village as a set up, he alleged was orchestrated in part by trustee Carmen Rue and others.
"Everything was legal and proper and as far as someone saying, as the mayor, to dump garbage in a side road or a street, I think that's character assassination," said Gordon Jenkins, Monticello's mayor.
The DEC charged six contractors involved with the demolition of the old village courthouse with illegal dumping. At the meeting, Jenkins denied allegations that he had any knowledge of the plans to illegally dump.
"Even if the contractor was illegally dumping, that's on the contractor. What do I know where the guy takes the garbage at?" said Jenkins.
Village engineer John Fuller joined the emergency meeting via speaker phone and said the village has long had informal plans to build a community center at the old courthouse site but it was a surprise to him when he learned the village was proceeding with the demolition. Now he says the village must work to remove the debris.
"We have two quotes from two environmental companies that specialize in expediting those permits, one is Hudson Valley Environmental and the other one is Quest," said Fuller.
The engineer said prior to the alleged illegal dumping, the DEC and the Department of Labor were not involved in this process. Both agencies are now involved.
The engineer says both the village and the contractor were responsible for ensuring asbestos was removed from the building before demolition. Fuller says that never happened.
As for the pile left next to village hall, Fuller says the village first has to secure a permit at the cost of $2,200, then they can hire a certified contractor to remove the debris. That cost is unknown.
"The mayor doesn't want to take the responsibility for his own acts that he did without board approval," said Rue.
Fuller says the village could get the proper permits this week that allow them to move forward.