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Schumer Comes Through For City With Crawford Cleanup Help

Chuck Schumer, D-New York and U.S. Senate majority leader, has come through in a major way for Jamestown by securing EPA help clearing the former Crawford Furniture site.

Cleanup costs have been pegged at around $5 million.

The news came a little more than a year after a fire destroyed the 1061 Allen Street property. Cleanup costs have been a sticking point in city Housing Court. In addition to demolishing the rest of the site and removing debris, the EPA will then help the city prepare the site for redevelopment. Demolition may take a couple of more months to begin, with work possibly wrapping up in the spring.

The city has already born a heavy cost paying for overtime for firefighters to fight the industrial blaze as well as costs to stabilize the site and a year-long fight with Richard Rusiniak, principal of the limited liability corporation that owns the property. Given the shape of the building before the fire, it’s unlikely the city would have received much even if it won its fight in Housing Court.

Schumer visited the site in January. In the months since, Schumer has worked to get the EPA to take the project on. It’s easy to laugh when the state’s senior senator sends out his yearly news release trumpeting his visit to all 62 counties in the state, but last week’s announcement is a welcome reminder that Schumer’s presence on Chautauqua County extends beyond merely visiting the area once a year. We may not always agree with Schumer when it comes to national political issues, but he is a valuable ally to have on local matters.

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