|File photo of King Fuels demo|
Once, a while back, I was helping a friend build some step in front of his Center Square house. We got a late start and work was slowed by the onset of darkness and the more than a few beers.
It was getting to be around 10 p.m. or and I (we) was almost done and the remnants of a day’s work – the old steps, some new boards and the left over scraps from the boards I used - were scattered about his courtyard. I was bent over the steps with tool belt on and hammer in hand and a police officer knocked on the gate.
“We got a couple calls about someone in the area sawing and pounding” he said in a pleasant enough manner.
I stood up, hammer in hand and said: “It wasn’t me.”
I thought of that story when I first heard about the latest controversy at the demolition site at King Fuels.
Sources tell me one of the excavators had some concerns about what was going on down there, called the authorities and low and behold – they found asbestos scattered about the site. Work was stopped while authorities figure out how much is there and what to do about it. Now state and federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the matter.
Some of the buildings that were getting knocked down or have been knocked down did have asbestos in them, according tothe minutes of the Troy Local Development Corporation. The city, however, claims it wasn’t from the demolition but someone else could have dumped it down there.
I took a ride down there, after I posted about the site getting shut down, and while I don’t doubt someone could have dumped asbestos or anything else down there but the more likely deduction is that it came from the guy doing work down there. Just like it was the guy in the tool belt holding a hammer who was making all sorts of construction racket keeping the neighbors up.
J.R. Casale is the contractor and I covered the infamous Water District No. 14 in North Greenbush a while back. There were a number of complaints regarding the quality of his work – fire hydrants sticking up two feet out of the ground, driveways and front lawns that were supposed to be repaired were left chewed up or repaired halfway and staggering cost overruns.
Knowing that about Casale – yes, he claims it’s his son’s company but Jack Cox Sr. once said his junkyard in Grafton was owned by his daughter too – I can see him not following the strict rules governing the demolition of asbestos laden structures.
But, according to the city it’s not his fault.
And it wasn’t me who was doing the sawing and nailing. After I told the police officer as such, he laughed, asked how many cuts I had left and said to finish up as quickly as I could. I complied too the best of my ability.
The King Fuels, however, is not a courtyard in Center Square and illegally disposing of asbestos is a far cry from keeping a neighbor awake past 10 p.m.