City of Fulton officials tackled allegations involving its Phillips St. housing project.
Mayor Ron Woodward asked Fulton Community Development head Joe Fiumara to respond to claims in a letter-to-the-editor of the Valley News that the process of removing trees from the housing site was somehow illegally handled.
Woodward called the allegation “a slander” of the Fulton Community Redevelopment Council and said the FCRC would meet with a lawyer Monday to consider taking action.
Fiumara asserted that the bidding process for removing the trees from the site of the former Phillips St. School was handled within the law.
He said the city received sealed bids for the tree removal and that some of the bidders were present when the bids were were opened. He says he still has all of the bidding documents and says anyone can stop by his office and see them.
Residents at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting mentioned the concern over removing two 100-year-old trees from the site. Fiumara said the city tried to keep the trees, but “the trees would have interrupted the infrastructure (of the new homes) and would not have been safe.”
New trees will be planted at the eight-home site on Friday, Fiumara said.
He added that the design of the homes was not put out for bids, but that was legal.
Common Council member Tom Kenyon, who is running against Woodward for Mayor, backed up Woodward’s and Fiumara’s assertions. “I’m telling you it was done right,” he said.
A resident of one of the new homes brought up a problem with mold in one of the homes. Fiumara acknowledged the problem, which he said may have been made worse by construction delays that left the work site open during the winter and by the lack of installation of a sump pump for the home’s basement.
He said the problem was taken care of, but Woodward ordered a new air quality test of the home to make sure there are no mold spores.