YORKTOWN, N.Y. Former Yorktown Supervisor Susan Siegel said her administration laid the groundwork for the demolition of the structures currently under way on the longtime Holland Sporting Club property in Mohegan Lake.
Siegel was responding to criticism from current Supervisor Michael Grace and Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo that progress on the 14-acre site stalled during her two years in charge. Grace unseated Siegel last November.
"Eric couldn't have done all the demolition if my board hadn't done all the prep work," Siegel said. "So when he says we delayed it, we didn't. I know as a resident there was a problem. To me, it was a terrible liability to the town and if anything would have happened, the town was at risk."
During a Monday press conference, Grace and council member Dave Paganelli said Yorktown was saving about $35,000 by Highway Department workers taking down the 14 dilapidated structures. With asbestos abatement costing $75,000, the town's cost for the project was estimated to be approximately $110,000.
While admitting to having a "strained relationship" with DiBartolo as supervisor, Siegel said her town board had decided not to have town personnel do the demolition because of liability concerns.
"I felt no one in-house had that expertise," she said. "Perish the thought that someone got hurt. With the Highway Department, he (DiBartolo) does things when he wants to do it and when he doesn't. We couldn't tell him what to do."
Siegel is a member of Yorktown Citizens for a DPW, a group looking to eliminate the highway superintendent as an elected office in town. The group has said its objective is to save the town money, not banish DiBartolo. DiBartolo has said he will not be seeking reelection when his term expires next year.
At one point during her term, Siegel said the town was looking to use Community Development Block Grant money that was originally designated for sidewalk work that was never completed for the Holland Sporting Club demolition. However, those funds later were tied up by Westchester County.
A few weeks before she left office, Siegel said bids for the demolition and asbestos removal were circulated but not acted upon when Grace, a former town attorney, came on board.
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