Troy City Council Releases Report on Controversial Demolitions
TROY, N.Y. -- "We're the checks and balances to the administration and we are not going to let shady activities happen," said Troy City Council president Rodney Wiltshire.
While the Troy City Council has announced they are not making any claims of criminal fault in the 2013 demolitions at King Street and the former King Fuels site, members made it clear there is definite possibility that serious wrongdoing did in fact occur.
"Explosions, intense heat, and vaporization of nearby construction equipment. Of course any human life in the immediate blast area would also have been lost," said Wiltshire.
Catastrophic damage that could have resulted from the King Fuels demolition, according to testimony from National Grid. A high pressure natural gas main underneath the site raised significant public safety concerns, but the city's mayor says the location was secure.
"We had a meeting that went down at the site actually. We met and the National Grid said we could continue," explained Mayor Lou Rosamilia.
At the King Street site, the council reports patrons in the restaurant next door were not evacuated prior to the demolition.
"That is mind numbing to me, I can't believe that was allowed to happen," said Wiltshire.
The council's report also found the building was contaminated with asbestos, which could have been released into the air.
"It was flowing everywhere all over the entire downtown area so the people dining and eating there absolutely were susceptible to any ingestion," Wiltshire explained.
And the demolition occurred without approval from the city engineer.
Wiltshire said he believes "that's the most suspicious part of the King Street situation."
The council has now released a series of recommendations to develop policies to prevent demolitions like these from occurring again.
"You don't say we'll just let it go and hope it doesn't happen again because that's a huge problem," said Wiltshire.
"Based on the information I received and heard, people exercised what they believed was in the best interest of the city and the building in both locations," said Rosamilia.
Troy's City Council president said the FBI and other organizations are still pursuing criminal investigations.