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The Saga of Fulton Aldi’s and Nestles Site

To The Editor:
On May 10, 2014, it was reported -“Fulton Mayor says ALDI project still a go.” “Ralph Stacy Jr. of the city’s planning commission addressed the mayor and the council during the public forum, saying that several people had approached him after hearing that Aldi’s proposal was ‘in jeopardy.’” “People have noticed that the demo activity has halted at the plant  and people are concerned and they want to know what’s going on” Stacy said” “Woodard said: “Although he’s (Palmer) not tearing buildings down now, there are people inside remediating the asbestos so they can take the buildings down.” Woodard said Aldi wants to break ground July 1.
On June 6, 2014: The proposed Aldi grocery store on the former Nestle site may not break ground as scheduled. “ It might be delayed a couple weeks. ”Palmer said. “We had an unusually harsh winter, so we couldn’t do the abatement over the winter.”

April 16, 2015: “City takes action to prevent another Nestlé’ cleanup situation.” Fulton adopted a new policy last week that officials say will help prevent the city from getting stuck with the cleanup bill after a building gets demolished.
“The Common Council approved an amendment to the city’s “Demolition” last week that requires anyone seeking a permit to demolish a structure to provide the city with a performance bond, provided the project is expected to cost $35,000 or more.”(Crushed brick cost $230, 000; Air quality testing so far is $60,000 – we agreed to perform this at our costs, sounds like a contract of more than $35,000 to me. Yet no performance bond issued. Oh well you get what you paid for).

October 24, 2015: “Macner” City got a Good Deal on the Nestle site cleanup” ”I think this is certainly a good deal for us. Rather than spend millions of dollars to get that building down, we’ve found someone who just wants to take the scrap. I think that’s great.” Macner said the building still has a lot of steel beams and rebar that could have a strong value in the salvage market. (read above costs).

February 20, 2016: “Mayor Nestle buildings likely to come down next month.” Asbestos is still being removed from the former Nestle’ site, but Mayor Ron Woodward expects the buildings to begin coming down sometime next month. Aldi, which purchased part of the site for $450,000 last year, is looking to begin construction as early as April 2016, but the sale contract between the city and Aldi stipulates that the site must be “build-ready” no later than July 1.

March 16, 2016: “Woodward: Nestle’ demolition still on schedule. Fulton officials recently met with Infinity Enterprises, the contractor charged with tearing down the former Nestle’ buildings, and learned the project is still on schedule and expected to be completed by June 1, according to Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. In response to worries that the contractor could decide to abandon the project, Woodward maintains that Fulton has nothing to lose under the current agreement. “We did a contract with a guy that we’re paying him nothing,” Woodward said. “Everything he’s taken out of there so far, as far as asbestos – is something we’re not saddled with anymore. It’s gone. If you can find bad in that, you can find bad in anything. The sale contract between the city and Aldi stipulates that the site must be build-ready no later than July 1.

June 1, 2016: “City plans to spend up to $300,000 to prepare former Nestle’ site for Aldi – City officials called a special meeting Friday in which the Common Council agree to spend up to $300,000 to get part of the former Nestle’ property build-ready for Aldi, with plans to level the site with crushed brick from  the demolished buildings. Woodward said he’s “pretty confident“ the site will still be ready for Aldi to move in by July 1.

June 4, 2016: “City officials address Nestle’ site neighbors on demolition status, noise. “In two weeks, a crusher will be brought in that will cause high noise levels, Woodward said.

The date of this writing is June 30, 2016.

Just some factually correct observations. Two weeks from June 4 is June 18. There has not been any loud noise from bricks being crushed. Tomorrow is July 1 and there is still 4 ¼ buildings left standing and the site is still below street level.

Now, I may be called a  neigh sayer,  but( I  would call myself a realist) I  just don’t think that 4 ¼ building are going to be raised and the site isn’t going to be brought up to street level in the next 4 hours.

But like Scarlett said in Gone With the Wind, “After all tomorrow is another day” or Little Orphan Annie sang “Tomorrow, tomorrow I love ya tomorrow your only a day a way.”

The same thing could be said about target dates for completion of the demolition of the Nestle site.

In 2014 it was July 1.

In 2016 first it was June 1 then it went to July 1. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.?

I do know one thing is that it won’t bring the starting of the Aldi store.

That will be another day and another story and another target date. Which will more than likely be out before my letter hits the stands.

Don’t worry Aldi’s is coming!

When is the $450K question!

Only Aldi’s knows the answer.

Frank Castiglia
Fulton NY

10 Comments

  1. Frank will you PLEASE just stop all your negative comments/letters. YOU were elected to be a positive voice for the people you represent. CAN you FIND JUST ONE THING POSITIVE to say about Fulton. I for one one am sick to death of all your negative comments as well as many others.

  2. Louella Leclair : Frank Is correct! The city is never going to get this finished for Aldi’s. I go by there every day and only see them working in the evening, almost as if it was their 2nd job. Positive thinkingis not helping!

  3. Louella, You have a problem reading. I didn’t do anything but re-post what was reported. Bring to light what the elected officials have done and not done. I have never said anything negative about the city itself. You and your neighbor have a problem telling the difference between a City and it’s elected officials . The people that elected me have no problem with the way I’m representing them at the county level. Like I told your friend Mr. Myers. I am first and foremost a taxpayer in the city. Not once have I voted for any of the elected officials. If I feel I would like to say anything about them I can do that. This is a free county. You have a choice also. You can choose not to read my letters. I was elected to be a VOICE for the people. The people are not happy with the way things are at the city level of Government and as a taxpayer and homeowner in this City of Fulton I can and will say what I feel. As an Elected VOICE for the people I have been a VOICE of reason at the County level representing them and trying to protect their tax money. You have every right in the world to say what you want when and where you please. I just wish you would learn how to comprehend what you have read. The story was a collection of news stories with my added feelings at the end. Are you telling me that those news story were false?

  4. Frank is asking the tough questions which most politicians are too afraid to. This country needs more people like Frank because it is the only way we will ever see change. The whole country is on a downward slide because the politicians can’t stop fighting amongst themselves. They need to stand up and represent the people that voted them into office!

  5. Frank needs to learn how to spell correctly. Neigh is something a horse would do. It is razed, not raised. Then there are the issues of grammar, syntax and punctuation which are too numerous to mention here. The great George Bernard Shaw was apt in saying: simple minds are easily amused.

  6. Frank says what most city staffers and politicians will not. Fulton seems happy with progress but not achievement. Simply saying you’re working toward a goal is not the same as achieving said goal. How hard is it to clear a site and build a small grocery store? For Fulton its like landing a man in the moon.

  7. Anne Thrope- I want to thank you for correcting my errors. I’m sorry but grammar and spelling were never my strongest subjects. Doing what is right is and always will be my strongest attributes. Next time I will copy you first with the letters so I will be able to use proper grammar. Thank you again.

  8. Government watchdog: person who keeps watch over the official business being conducted by the local government and holding them accountable.

    This city government has been running or (ruining) the city for quite a long time, the letter writer is doing the taxpayers a service by keeping track of local government. As a taxpayer, I got into a discussion on here with one of the council people Mr. Myers last week who was trying to convince me that even though Fulton had some of the highest taxes in the state, that it makes no difference because the prices of houses in the city are lower than other towns. With that logic we all need to get very nervous about the people serving in local government. I notice that our town made the list of the ten highest state tax rates in the paper this week! The city is in trouble things have been hidden from the people regarding unfunded liablilities and other deferred expenses these things that are kept from the apathetic public. i personally watched the city hold houses off the tax rolls for years trying to be home flippers instead of auctioning them off to get them on the tax rolls quickly like everybody else does. Now we are having fire sales because they are in trouble. Watch dogs are important, holding people accountable is to. We are facing a huge loss to the county when the Fitz plant shuts down and the ripple effect of lost payroll and people leaving will hurt the city even more. We need to be consolidating, down sizing everything we can before we bankrupt the town, remember no one is going to bail us out, we already tried that with the state.

  9. So if the project fails to satisfy Aldi’s and they back out does the city have a contract that guarantees a refund of the $300,000?

  10. Totally agree with this, no negativity in there. I said to my family last week that there is no way Aldi’s will ever come in. This after reading that the city wanted another 30 days to get the site ready. I will say when I went by Sunday that there was actually work being done, something that I personally have not seen since they started ripping it down in early Spring.

    There has been many deadlines, many excuses and I would think Aldi’s will be getting real tired of this ongoing saga. As far as abatement of the asbestos and the winter being harsh. I must have been living in a different city as I don’t remember major quantities of snow, and my propane usage was down quite a bit. I think that this is becoming an eye sore, the community is beginning to see that it is going to become another one in Fulton.

    I am glad that Frank wrote this because people need to get involved and ask why it is not done! Louella as far as trying to call him out, do you think it is fair to keep telling the community when it is clear that things are not going well? As an elected official I would rather have someone calling Fulton out than going along with the flow. We deserve some answers…

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