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Fri., Aug. 28
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Property owners given 60 days to take action on two Potsdam structures deemed to be unsafe and dangerous


POTSDAM - Decisions on the fate of two deteriorating structures in the village of Potsdam may be made this summer.

In the next 60 days, more inspections will take place at the 11 Pleasant St. and 28 Pierrepont Ave. locations.

In his May 7 report, Code Enforcement Officer Greg Thompson said that the Pleasant Street property is in an “advanced state of deterioration. Due to the level of danger incurred by accessing entry porches there was no way to gain access to the premises at this time,” the report read.

Village records also show that broken water pipes between November 2008 and February 2009, combined with the vacancy during that time period, led to severe flooding. During the three months approximately 1,146,000 gallons of water was leaked into the basement, according to the code enforcement officer.

Other issues with the property include a dilapidated and unsafe front porch and a collapsed roof.

“This structure remains unsafe, unsanitary and dangerous to the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the village of Potsdam. It is the opinion of this inspector that this structure meets the definition of a major unsafe and dangerous building as per the village of Potsdam Code ... and should be demolished or repaired,” Mr. Thompson’s report concluded.

The Pierrepont Avenue building, which was heavily damaged by a fire in October allegedly set by one of the tenants, received a similar report from Mr. Thompson.

The CEO checked out the property on May 8 and found countless problems.

“As found upon inspection large portions of the roof structure have been damaged beyond repair due to fire. A significant number of roof trusses have been burned and charred,” the report said. “Portions of the roof were removed in an effort by the fire department to extinguish the flames. A large portion of the roof was opened up by the fire as well. Since the time of the fire these openings have remained open to weather and vermin.”

Winthrop resident Brandi Lee Saumier, 21, has been charged with second-degree arson in connection with that incident.

Mr. Thompson’s report said that the most significant damage to the building is along the southern side of the dwelling.

His observations concluded that the building remains unsafe and dangerous to the health, safety and general welfare to the people of the village and should be demolished or repaired.

Village Administrator David H. Fenton said that village officials will need to choose one of the options for the buildings in the next 60 days.

“If they don’t do something (in the next 60 days) then we initiate a proceeding with the Supreme Court to get an order from the Supreme Court judge for them to either demolish or repair,” he said.

“We’re hoping we can resolve this amicably,” Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis said. “The Pierrepont house was destroyed by fire and it was insured so there should be some money there to be able to invest in properly taking care of the property.”

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