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Demolition underway on City of Dunkirk building that partly collapsed

DUNKIRK – Demolition has started on a three-story Central Avenue building that partly collapsed in September.

The building was secured Wednesday afternoon and will be demolished by Friday, Code Enforcement Officer Allan L. Zurawski told members of the Public Works Committee during its regular meeting in City Hall.

The building, at 123 Central, included a business and apartments owned by Rural Ministries, a nonprofit agency. Zurawski said that the agency has been cooperative in the building-removal process.

The 100 block of Central has been closed since the structure was damaged. It is connected to the Coburn Building, which houses the Rural Ministry offices, apartments, a soup kitchen and a consignment store. The Rural Ministry operations have been closed since the incident. About 17 people were displaced and had to be relocated.

In other matters before the committee, Public Works Director Anthony G. Gugino said that work at the breakwater project is substantially completed. He said a list of final items is being reviewed with the contractor.

“We will probably continue to keep Lake Front Boulevard closed because we do not want road salt to get on that beautiful wall,” Gugino said.

The roadway was closed in the winter months in the past because of severe icing. Standing water that froze in the winter had caused damage to the concrete.

A new drainage system has been installed along the roadway. Other improvements, including lighting and recreational equipment, will be added to the area next year.

Gugino said he has prepared salt trucks and plowing equipment for the winter. He said he is concerned with the front-end loaders, which are old and in need of repairs.

The public works director said he would like to replace vehicles in the city’s fleet that have had major repair costs. Gugino said he will present a plan on updating the vehicles.

“We are committed to 3,000 tons of salt this year,” Gugino said. He said the price will be about $180,000.

“Last year, we budgeted $95,000, the total amount of money we spent on salt was $139,344,” he said. Gugino reminded the group that November and December could add to the current year’s budget if salt is needed.

Committee Chairwoman Stacy Szukala said that residents of Hoyt Street were surveyed and that the majority want the brick street paved with blacktop. Gugino said the work will be scheduled in the spring and also will include waterline replacement.

It was announced that a new “no parking” area has been added on Lake Shore Drive, near Swan Street. The road had been closed after a recent fatal accident when a car ran into a home. Large trucks had difficulty maneuvering in the area with barricades in place. The accident is still under investigation.

Four Council members asked that a purchase order be issued to have the Benton Street water storage tank inspected next week. The tank was repaired and has to be inspected before it can be filled with water. The cost is $2,400. Szukala said she would ask that the request for the work be approved.