After last night’s Borough Council meeting we had an extended talk about the Verizon Building with Borough Council President Paul McConnell. As you can expect, members of Borough Council have not been to happy about our recent coverage of the state of condition the Borough-owned building is in.
We have been asking who is responsible for allowing the building to become full of mold and water. McConnell wanted to sit down to discuss this and his response was basically that at a certain point he and other members of Borough Council determined that it would be to costly for the Borough to move into the building and make the necessary renovations and it was best to mothball the building and wait out the recession.
This decision was based on the premise that the Verizon Building’s only value was in the “land, steel and foundation.” If the walls had mold on them, it didn’t matter because they believe they held no value and would be ripped out anyway when the building was redeveloped. So basically, they knew it would turn into a mess and didn’t think it would affect the value once the economy turned around.
There was also the issue of the building being to large for the Borough’s needs and thus would have to get into the business of being a landlord for businesses that rented space within the building. McConnell believes the Borough shouldn’t be in the business of being a landlord.
So Conshy, do you accept that reasoning for allowing a Borough-owned property to turn into a moldy mess?