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Medley Centre floods, owner wants investigation

Irondequoit, N.Y. -- The Medley Centre is dealing with more mishaps, this time with broken water pipes.

Whats happening now is clearly unacceptable, said Supervisor Adam Bello.

Just 12 days into his first term, Bello said he is fed up. For the second time in a week, Bello was called to the Medley Centre for an emergency.

A pipe burst inside the mall, flooding the loading docks near Sears with up to four feet of water Sunday afternoon. There was no significant damage, but this is a place that cannot afford any more setbacks.

I think the message is clear," Bello said. "(Developer Scott) Congel is not putting the investment into this property that he promised he would, and it is disturbing whats happening now. 

In between Sears and what used to be J.C. Penney, the water in that part of the mall should have already been shut off for the winter.

We notified Mr. Congel days ago that there was a potential issue here with the water pipes in the building and with the extreme temperatures we have been having," Bello said. "It doesn't appear he took the necessary steps to stop the flooding from happening like it is today. 

Firefighters had to use a truck ladder to stretch across the massive puddle to reach the valves to shut off the water.

If you forget to shut off one pipe and it thaws out," said Lt. Mark Thomas of the Ridge-Culver Fire Department. "This is what youre going to get. 

Bello said he plans to meet with the police chief and fire marshal this week to see the privately owned property violates any of the towns code.

Code violations like this have been allowed to exist and were not going to do that, said Bello. Were not just going to sit down while this kind of thing happens.

In a statement released Sunday, mall owners are now asking the Irondequoit police department to immediately begin an investigation into whether the recent problems in the mall "are being caused by people entering it to create media events to the detriment of the project moving forward."

Just last week, town leaders expressed concern about the safety of the mall's water pumping station. Then another blow: news of Macy's leaving the mall.

What was once a beautiful mall is deteriorating right before our eyes, and thats troubling, Bello said.

Bello said Congel owes Irondequoit somewhere between $3-4 million dollars.

The ball is really in his court at this point as far as thats concerned," Bello said. "He has payments due in the next couple of weeks, and I expect that he make those payments.

That bill, a combination of regular PILOT payments and penalty fees for missed milestones, is due Feb. 1.

Late payments and code violations could be cause for the town to sever its agreement with Congel.

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