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Cleanup of Fredonia property fairly complete

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Pictured is the lot on Forest Place after a recent clean up.

The cleanup of 14 Forest Place is nearly complete, with an unexpected but positive twist: the property owner presented the village of Fredonia with a check for the cleanup.

Fredonia’s chief code enforcement officer, Charles LaBarbera, called the cleanup “99 percent done. I think St. George (S. St. George of Fredonia, the contractor hired to clean up the property) has done awesome.” LaBarbera updated the village Board of Trustees Monday about the matter.

The house at 14 Forest Place burned down in December and until recently, was filled with rubble left over from the fire.

LaBarbera went on to say, “The real good news is the owner of the property paid us today for the demolition.”

He added that S. St. George “at the 12th hour, decided he would use credits from the dumps and just adjust the bill.” Some Chautauqua County municipalities, such as Fredonia, have credits available for landfill use under a county program.

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Pictured is the lot after a fire that broke out in December.

LaBarbera said he was not sure how much the credits would save Fredonia, because he had not gotten a bill for the entire project yet, but promised he would share it with village officials. “Whatever it is, we probably owe the homeowner a few bucks,” he said.

Mayor Doug Essek said LaBarbera needed to find out exactly how many credits were used. “We earn them and then we get to use them and the only time we can use them for demolition projects,” Trustee Roger Britz noted.

Essek wondered if the homeowner should be refunded because the credits were used. “Instead of her paying the demolition to go to the landfill, we’re using our credits. It’s a wash,” he said. “In my opinion, I don’t know how the board feels, I believe the homeowner does not require a refund at this point.”

“Because otherwise we would use (the credits) for something else for the village,” Trustee James Lynden noted.

Trustees then expressed a desire to learn more about the landfill credits program and wanted to know if credits could also be used for dropping sludge. They took no action on the homeowner’s check.

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