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Update: Former Nestles Demolition Continues, Amended Contract with Aldi

The overpass connecting former Nestles buildings on opposite sides of Fay Street has been taken down today (November 5.)

FULTON, NY – The former Nestles site that has stood in Fulton for more than a century has seen another demolition milestone as the overpass connecting buildings on opposite sides of Fay Street has been removed.

Just more than one year ago, Infinity Enterprises, based in Fulton, won the demolition bid for the 24-acre site, offering to complete the demolition for no charge to the city but instead with rights to all salvageable material on the site.

Throughout the year, concerns have been addressed on multiple occasions and interruptions have halted the anticipated progress, however a contract with supermarket chain, Aldi prevailed.

The original contract between the city of Fulton and Aldi guaranteed 2.5 acres of the site on the corner of South Fourth Street and Fay Street to be completely demolished and build ready for Aldi to construct their own building by June 1, 2016.

Due to interruptions mostly caused by unexpected asbestos removal and the lengthy process of safe removal, the completion date has faced push backs on numerous occasions.

Many residents of the city and elected officials have questioned whether Aldi’s interest will remain despite the delays in expected completion dates.

“I can tell you, they’re not going anywhere,” Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said of Aldi’s interest in the site at a recent council meeting.

Mayor Woodward explained that an amended contract had been signed with Aldi, making only a few changes.

Of those changes, the date for completed demolition has been pushed back to the end of November and the sale price has dropped from $450,000 to $350,000.

Currently, the 2.5-acre area sits roughly five feet below ground level which needs to be brought up to grade as per the contract with Aldi.

Earlier this year, the Fulton Common Council approved the purchase of crushed brick from the site from Infinity Enterprises with the intent to bring the site up to grade using the crushed brick.

Core samples taken by geologists on behalf of Aldi resulted in findings that the crushed brick on site will not be able to be used under the building, instead, Aldi will need to purchase pilings.

“The original contract price was for $450,000 if we could provide a shovel ready site,” said Mayor Woodward. “They (Aldi) found they need to have pilings. The pilings are a little over $100,000 so we took that cost off the asking price.”

The city will use gravel to bring the building site to grade, laying a foot down at a time and then compacting it after each layer.

The crushed brick and concrete can be used for the area of the site that Aldi intends to use as a parking lot.

“We have something else in the wind that may recapture that ($100,000),” Woodward continued, although until there are more details worked out it won’t be discussed. “As far as the pilings go, we’re disappointed, we like to get as much as we can but at the same token, it’s understandable.”

With the overpass down, the focus will shift to the remaining buildings that line Fay Street to demolish and bring to grade for Aldi’s site.

The section of Fay Street between South Fourth and South Fifth streets will remain closed in the coming weeks as this work progresses.

“We’re on a tight schedule,” Woodward said, though he fully anticipates the site designated to Aldi to be completely prepared for Aldi by the end of November.

For many Fulton residents, seeing the demolition progress has been bittersweet.

“I could sit and cry,” said Joanne Weaver, Fulton resident for more than 30 years.

As a former Nestles employee, Weaver worked in Building 30 for many years, the building on the opposite side of Fay Street that the overpass connected to the main Nestles factory.

“I’ve walked miles over that ramp,” she said of the overpass. “It’s sad to see this all come down.”

Building 30 and the adjoining parking lot were bought in July 2015 by Gary E. Springs with the intent of opening a U-Haul warehouse and storage facility, although the building has yet to be opened for this purpose.

Lifelong Fulton resident, Paul Cardinali recalled many fine memories from his youth having grown up in the area.

“I’m torn. My grandfather came here in 1924, I can remember where the flat concrete is now (behind Nestles), I used to help my grandfather with his garden there. It’s a miss, but at the same time it’s a part of the natural change. I just wish they’d get it done so it would look a little more natural, as it sits now it’s like looking at dead remains,” he said.

While the demolition stirs up memories of Fulton’s rich industrial history, it also brings hope for new beginnings.

“I’m sad to see it come down, it’s been here for so long,” said Jim Myers, councilman of the fourth ward in which the building stands. “But the truth is, it’s never going to be a factory again. It’s time to look to the future and look forward to the progress.”

Video provided by Jim Myers

21 Comments

  1. This deal just keeps getting better and better. It almost sounds like they’re making stuff up as they go along. Pretty soon the site will be given away free, the city will owe the contractor, and Aldi’s will pull out at the last minute finally sensing the deal was bad. Fulton taxpayers will be asked once again to pony up more tax money. You just can’t make this stuff up.

  2. People really think that we can’t read and remember what was said and done. Over six months ago the Mayor had said that the core sample was taken and that the material under the foundation was poor and for that reason they wouldn’t be taking up the old foundation. A couple months after that the city bought the bricks to use as fill to bring the site up to street level. Well that cost us $230,000 and then the bricks were found to be unusable for a foundation for the footers. So we paid for a foundation for a parking lot. Great. Who is going to pay for the gravel that is going to be used for fill now. Oh that’s right the Mayor said they have lots of gravel they can use. Now as far as the price goes. Aldi’s said 6 months ago that if it wasn’t ready by July they wouldn’t pay the asking price. Now let’s see what story they are going to come up with when it’s not ready by the End of Nov. and Aldi’s asks for another reduced price. Or we have to pay for the removal of the rest of the debris because Aldi’s won’t open with it looking like a bombed out war zone.

  3. Did anyone else hear a billy goat when watching this video. Sure sounded like one to me. Turn the volume up and listen.

  4. Let the city do their job Frank and mind your own business. You want to be a city official but do nothing but cause problems for this city.

  5. That’s right Frank, we should have left it alone, just have an old half demolished factory sitting there. Maybe then you would be happy. No amount of progress seems to satisfy you.

  6. Sally, In what life time did you ever see or hear i wanted to be a city official? If informing the public of the lack of the effective management of tax payer money by the city of Fulton official you must be one of them. I will and have always brought to light the ineffective management of the city of Fulton officials. I just came back from a gathering of both Rep. and Dem. taxpayers that told me to keep up the good work I’m doing and thanked me for informing them of issues that they needed or forgot to know about both the city and county govt. So if you feel that my shedding the light on wasteful use and spending of taxpayer money is causing troublem I feel sorry for you. You can always not read my posts but I do like that you feel I’m causing a problem for the city Government that means I’m doing my job.

  7. Mr. Myers, No I have always said that the city was wrong in giving the contract to a company that was going to do it for nothing. NOTHING is FREE. So far FREE has costs us over $400,000 dollars. And we still don’t have the site cleared yet. We will not lose Aldi’s but it is going to costs us much more. Then there is the fact that we are losing tax money every day the site is not ready. Both sales tax, and real property tax. So Mr. Myers you just keep up the good work. I had said we should have bonded to have a real construction company like Rowlee do the job and we would have an Aldi’s and more by this time.

  8. Lol progress? What progress has been made? The company that is “tearing down” the old factory has not made any noticeable progress in MONTHS.Every time I go by the place it looks no different. They are never working on it.No progress in months now all of a sudden they are gonna have it cleaned up and filled in and all graded in a matter of a few weeks? This infinity enterprises bit off more then they can even start to chew. Is it a one man operation? I have never heard of them before some start up company that rented some equipment is my guess.Must be related to the mayor because he just keeps making excuses for them.Lets get a real construction crew in there and you might have a chance at your end of November deadline.

  9. Frank, once again you show your ignorance of municipal law. The city has to put the project out to bid, that’s the law. We have to take the lowest responsible bidder, that’s the law. We have used this company before such as the old Victory Grill and there weren’t any problems.
    So tell us Frank, exactly how long would it have taken the other company to get the job done that wanted over 3 million dollars to do it. Exactly how much sales tax money has the city lost? Exactly how much money has the city paid to Infinity Enterprises for the demolition project that had a zero bid?

  10. I remember my father who worked at the plant for 30 plus years told me when I was a young kid that there was quicksand underneath Nestles and they had to take special precautions because it was sinking. I remember him telling me that like it was yesterday.
    Anytime you enter in these open ended contracts you hire Professionals to guide you, those being Structural Engineers, (boring tests, ground soil analysis) and atructural architects (time of delivery estimates) as city advisors You don’t leave it up to Dopey, Sneezy, Doc, and Sleepy to negotiate these things. Normally when you sell a piece of land to a developer, they pay you for the property “as is” not giving them back the money to hide your mistakes, this is taxpayers money and the cost of this fiasco will guarantee a property tax increase in the near future! Clean house my friends, it is the blind leading the blind here!

  11. Mr. Myers, Lowest bid, is not the law…you show me the law. Because if it then your buddies at the county level have broken it at least 12 times in just 3 yrs. that is just a guide to go by. If the lowest bid isn’t from someone that accomplish the job in the time frame then that is who you go with. So again Mr. Myers you show just what you know and think you know. A small building on the corner of S. 1st an Broadway is no way a means that they could do a job the size of Nestles’. But that is your small scope of the issues that face the city of Fulton. As you can see by the other posts you are in the minority again. Keep up the good work. Oh is this the co. you hired to do your house. Same amount of progress. Makes our neighborhood look very bad. How long it would take is in the contract you sign. How much has it costs. $230,000 for bricks that we didn’t need, $100,000 loss in the sale,(hidden by a statement made that because of the need of pillars) they told me back 6 months ago that if it was ready by July that they wouldn’t pay the $450,000. Sales tax can’t be figured but the sales of other sites is. I did that before and just because you have a short memory I’m not going to go thru it again. Keep waste time and money just because that is the norm here. we may loose the sale to Delta Sonic also..ad the property taxes and sales taxes that go with it. Now don’t say we have a sales tax agreement with the county because we all know that if we go over a said amount we get more. Give it up Mr. Myers your in over your head.

  12. Mr. Myers, I must stop reading and reacting to these ramblings of yours so early in the AM. The law is and can be bypassed on a regular basis if you can show that the lowest bid isn’t the most logical which should have been the case. Giving up almost $1 mil. in scrap is not nothing. That is what was being charged.Then to pay for something to help keep the contractors head above water is a waste of Taxpayers money.

  13. I notice Mr. Castiglia is usually large on criticism, yet rarely offers anything in the way of solutions. I think looking after officials is necessary, and keeping track of spending is important, however to do little more than criticize city officials while offering nothing in the form of a better solution is a bit tedious. I suggest Mr. Castiglia formulate better ideas before sitting back and criticizing each decision our representatives make.

  14. Here…I guess maybe you are a little near sited …I have seen a solution each time.by Mr. Castiglia…read or learn to comprehend what has been read and written. He has given a suggestion to bond to have a ligament large scale contractor do the job…and pay the bond off with money from the sale of the sites and the scrap material….so please learn to read and comprehend. There is no way that site will be ready by the end of November. Not without the city coming up with more money to pay for more fill.

  15. Frank. look up McKinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated Section 103
    General Municipal Laws
    Chapter 24 of the Consolidated Laws
    Article 5-a Public Contracts
    and you will see where it is the law.

  16. Mr. Myers, Read my post of 11/7-9:26 I admit that it is a law but it is and can be over turned easy…as is done by your party in the county many many times…the same thing can happen any time at the city level also…so don’t use the law when you want and not use it when you want….what ever suits you and yours….

  17. Mr. Myers Are you saying your comrades at the county level are breaking the law. Remember they are lead by your leader Fred Beasley so I will tell them next time they bypass the low bid..I will tell them that Mr. Myers in Fulton says you guys are breaking the law. that they have to take the low bid. That you said so…Grow up Mr. Myers the low bid isn’t always the best bid and that is how they bypass the low bid. If by some slight miracle you get to play with the big boys at the county level you will find out…

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