By Lisa Ballou
The demolition of the Holland Sporting Club, which has been on the Yorktown Town Board’s capital project list for more than a year now, set off a lively discussion at last week’s town board meeting.
Several neighbors of the property gathered at the meeting to once again express their concerns over the site, remarking how dangerous and unsightly the property is and questioning the status of removing the buildings.
Patrick Cominsky, a construction manager who lives across from the property on Horton Drive, led the charge.
Cominsky re-presented his demolition study, which he previously presented to the board last spring, and urged the town to take action immediately.
In April 2011, the board decided to borrow the $250,000 it thought was necessary to tear down the 11 buildings on site. On Dec. 16, the town opened the sealed bids for the removal of asbestos and lead-based paint, which must happen before anything gets torn down, and for the demolition itself.
Former supervisor Susan Siegel reminded the board that those bids are only good for 60 days.
There seems, however, to be an ongoing debate as to whether or not the town should handle the job internally or hire an outside contractor.
If an outside source handles the project the cost is roughly $150,000, which is $100,000 less than originally projected. Nonetheless, according to Town Supervisor Michael Grace, if the town’s highway department handles the demolition, the expenditures could be half of that.
Cominsky feels strongly that an outside company should handle the demolition and urged the town not to be “penny wise and dollar foolish.” He pointed out that there are unknown costs and dangers such as insurance liabilities, wear and tear on town equipment, and the cost of dumpsters.
Councilman Nicholas Bianco agreed with Cominsky adding that it would not be fair to put the spotlight on Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo who would likely be criticized whether or not he did a good job.
“I do not believe that Eric should do it. He is capable but should not get involved,” Bianco said. “There’s work here that takes expertise.”
The Holland Sporting Club was once a summer resort that dates back to the 1920s when the site housed a hotel, cottages and tennis courts. The town officially acquired the property on May, 24, 2005, at which time they deemed it parkland. Six years later, the 14-acre lakeside property on Mohegan Lake is not maintained and littered with glass, trash and other debris.
According to Grace, the asbestos abatement contract will be awarded as soon as possible and the rest will follow. “We hear you loud and clear,” Grace said. “It will be on the work session next week.”
When pressed as to why they have yet to act on the bids, Bianco said they still needed to do due diligence, taking a closer look at the different companies and their bids.