Holland Sporting Club Demolition Job Questioned [Photos]

The buildings on the 14-acre lake front property were demolished last month. But some say that the work is far from over yet.

The trucks and town's highway department employees have long exited the site and Yorktown supervisor Michael Grace has commended the employees for a "job well done," but councilman Vishnu Patel does not agree.

With a rake in hand, more than a month after the demolition work has been over, Patel dug up the surface of the debris piles that were left behind. He uncovered stones, concrete, metal pieces, insulation and large wooden planks, all covered by the wood chips the town put in place once the demolition was over.

"We have the responsibility to do the right job," Patel said. "They did one third of the work and they created more environmental hazards."

For years residents had been petitioning town board members to take action and demolish the buildings on the 14-acre property that was once an exclusive posh summer resort and weekend getaway.

Officials had budgeted $75,000 for the demolition project, but Grace said the actual cost was cut in half – to $29,000 – by doing the job in-house. In addition, the administration has spent $68,000 for asbestos removal. The town's previous estimates, using outside contractors, was . 

Patel said everything was supposed to be leveled once the demolition was over and now the town has not complied with a number of state codes including back-filling the area with grass or mulched with straw, hay or equal to provide a complete cover of grass seed.

"As far as I'm concerned everything was done correctly," Grace said, adding he was not concerned about any stray piece of wood with metal attached to it. 

Grace said his concern was to make sure the buildings get demolished. The town placed wood chips where the buildings once stood because of the "enormous amount" of wood chips the town had, Grace said.

"If someone gets hurt, how are you going to get to them," Patel said, referring to the big piles that were placed in front of each of the two entrances, blocking them.

Another issue Patel has is the chimney and another small building that is still standing on the property, but he said they were supposed to be taken down. He said the chimney was left because it was too difficult for the town workers to take down.

Grace said the chimney and the other building could potentially be left there as a historical monument and testament of what used to be there, subject to what the town decides to do with the property. 

There are no immediate plans about what the future of the site would be. During a press briefing at the site last month, Grace said selling it to private developers is "always a possibility." He also said a recreational type of use for the property is likely.

"It seems like they buried all the garbage," said Ricci Fonzo, a Mohegan Lake resident who lives across from the site. "I'm afraid if there were foundations of a basement and they filled it with debris or wood chips and it were to rot away, you'll have a sinkhole and that's dangerous."

He called the property "beautiful" – one the town and its residents should be able to enjoy.

To see a video of the demolition, which took place last month, . 

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Area Man August 08, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Everyone complained about the cost of demolishing the farmhouse by YHS, yet that job was done neatly and professionally. You can't tell anything was ever there. In this case, not so much.
Susan Troop August 08, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Penny wise, pound foolish.
Ros Kliban August 08, 2012 at 12:14 PM
If the Town had a licensed engineer over seeing the job the outcome might have been different. They might not have created "new" historical landmarks. Remember in life you always get what you pay for. Don't pay much don't get much.
Bob Rohr August 08, 2012 at 12:51 PM
" Everyone complained about the cost of demolishing the farmhouse by YHS, yet that job was done neatly and professionally." Actually it would not have been possible to do it any other way. The School property is under the control of the State Education Department. The State Ed. has it's own building codes, issues it's own permits, and approves plans. School District projects will always cost more than comparable projects since there is so much paperwork and BS. People tend to confuse School Property with other Public Properties, it is not. A School District is a Public Corporation unto itself.
Layla August 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM
WOW!!!! Think of it a new archeological dig site. That and a few more TCYB's and Yorktown might be on the map as a destination.
Layla August 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Costco! Wow! We really will be a destination. Traffic and pollution. Just can't wait. Think of it, you'll be able to have a leisurely drive up and down Route 202. Thats progress for you.
Layla August 08, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Yorktown Town Hall, Don't worry about open land, I have feeling that with the arrival of Costco, it will be only a matter of time before BJ"s closes. I am sure that the Town Board will then label that site as open land or maybe another historic site. Who knows the possibilities are endless.
J Gallagher August 08, 2012 at 08:05 PM
What happened to the remaining funds? Sounds to me like another lawyer pulling a fast one. Since when is it ok to do half the job? We're the containers used to hall away other debri not from this site? Who leaves a demolition job with hazards like a unsupported stone chimney and covering waste that should have been taken off site? So I guess if you cut grass for the town you can do anything right? I pay taxes for a reason and that's to get results like a demolition company who would have left the site clean, seeded and hazard free so some kid doesn't go in there and gets crushed by a chimney and then his family sues the town for millions and only the lawyers make out in the end.
Ros Kliban August 09, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Good question. You should take the time to go to a Board meeting and ask. I agree we do pay taxes with the expectation that we have professional quality services ,even if that means going out of house. Our town employees, who do a great job, can not be expected to be qualified for everything.
bertie August 10, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I hope the town has good liability insurance, considering that this appears to be a half done job and may, indeed, be a cause of some interesting lawsuits from damage done by leaving dangerous debris under a layer of wood chips...and leaving a freestanding chimney because the proper equipment to take it down was not used by the town. I think this is a matter of some concern. I base this opinion on the pictures and report in the Yorktown Patch.
Vishnu Patel August 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM
Purity: "Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure, knowing that thy living touch is upon all my limbs. I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truths wich has kindled the light of reason in my mind. And I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my hearts and keep my love in flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat in the inmost shrine of my heart. And it shall be my endeavor to reveal thee in my actions, knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act. (Rabindranath Tagore) " Vishnu Patel Councilman.
Melanie Bussel September 20, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I live up the street from the former Holland Sporting Club. It is designated as a 'Town Park" and cannot be sold to developers (nor could our narrow streets stand the traffic). The community is willing to put in sweat equity to turn this land into a beautiful nature park, but the town's "cost saving" has left an environmental and safety disaster.


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