Town of Union steps in to clean up EJ building

By Julianne Peixoto

July 21, 2014 Updated Jul 21, 2014 at 6:39 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Town of Union has begun repairing and securing the old Endicott Johnson shoe factory after owners failed to maintain the property.

"We're just not gonna put up with this, you know what I mean, having this blight," said Town Supervisor Rose Sotak. "And it's not even about the property looking bad, what it's really about is it's about safety and securing the building."

Sotak said the town has already mowed the property and secured parts of the outdoor fence.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by the owners against the Town of Union last week.

Union board members deemed the building unsafe and dangerous back in February, and gave the owners until June 30 to complete a list of ten renovations or demolish it.

They did nothing, so now the town is stepping in.

"It's tax payer dollars and we are putting liens on the property as we go along for fixing the fence, mowing the property as we would do on any other property," said Sotak. "Then, of course, when there's a sale or a change of hands the tax payer will be reimbursed."

Sotak said the board is talking about amending rules within the Town of Union code in order to enforce legislation on a stricter basis in the future.

She said there is still potential for another court date with the current building owners.

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