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Medley Centre owners respond to violations, repairs

Irondequoit, N.Y. -- A 5 p.m. deadline for the owner of Medley Centre has come and gone.

The Town of Irondequoit told Scott Congel to fix damages inside the mall or face charges in the form of code violations.

It now appears as if the town intends to get tough with the mall's owner and take him to court for these alleged violations.

The town's fire marshal has submitted paperwork to the court minutes after 5 p.m. accusing Bersin Properties, the Congel-controlled company that owns Medley Centre, of violating two town codes.

The first is for fire alarm and sprinkler systems that no longer work and were not properly taken out of service.

The second is for leaving combustible material in the mall.

The town is not pursuing the third violation, claiming the property wasn't plowed because apparently it was plowed as recently as today.

The code violations stem from a January inspection of the property by the fire marshal after a water pipe burst.

Photos obtained from the town show what the barely 24-year-old vacant mall now looks like on the inside. Water damage, buckled floor tiles, collapsed ceiling tiles, standing water and frozen water in certain areas were visible in the photos that were obtained via a Freedom of Information request.

Town Supervisor Adam Bello has said he sees this as a public safety hazard.

Even if people aren't using the mall anymore, Bello said first responders or others who gain access to the building could be at risk if there were a fire or structural damage.

In a media briefing late Thursday afternoon, Bello said the town's taxpayers could be held liable if something were to happen. He added that the taxpayers have already invested millions in various forms to build and maintain the mall and he did not want to see that investment crumble.

The mall's owner provided local media with a letter sent to the town in recent days that claims these issues have been resolved: debris inside was cleaned up and a plan to disable the fire sprinkler systems is being executed.

With the fire marshal filing charges, it would appear that the letter did not satisfy the town.

"Seeing is believing," Bello said of the town's approach to claims that problems have been resolved as stated in that letter to the town.

If convicted in court of these violations, daily fines of up to $1,000 could be collected.

For more on the Medley Centre owners' response to the violations and repairs, click here.







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