The Montgomery County Legislature voted Tuesday night to foreclose on the Beech-Nut site in Canajoharie after the county was released from environmental liens on the property held by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“It’s been a long process to get to this benchmark, and I’m very excited we’re here,” said Chairman of the Legislature Roy Dimond after the vote.
The decision hinged upon an agreement between the county and the EPA, which stated that the county would not be held financially responsible for environmental contamination — mostly asbestos-related — at the site. The agreement further stipulates that if the county were to eventually sell the site, that 50 percent of the purchase price would go to the federal agency.
Dimond said the agreemnt covers any future costs the EPA would incur for asbestos cleanup at the site, and hold the county harmless for the cost of such a cleanup.
County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said the EPA has already spent money to clean up asbestos piles left behind by the former owner, Connecticut-based TD Development LLC.
Ossenfort said being released from the liens — two totaling $4 million — was crucial in the county taking steps to foreclose on the property.
“Without resolving the lien issue a foreclosure certainly could have exposed us to some liability,” said Ossenfort. “This entire package is one that’s good for the county and I think fair for both sides.”
The county has already secured nearly $1 million in grants and other funding to rehabilitate the eastern portion of the property, which comprises a little more than half…
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