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Dato Expresses Concerns About C-Town Property

Fire Stricken Building Remains Standing in South Amboy 

By: Joseph L. Kuchie

Councilwoman  Zusette Dato

Zusette Dato

SOUTH AMBOY – Councilwoman Zusette Dato raised concerns of the destroyed C-Town property at this month’s South Amboy business meeting.

The facility that sits at 611 Bordentown Ave. was destroyed be a four-alarm fire back in April. Dato mentioned that residents from South Amboy had come to her with complaints and she too issued her concerns of health issues and pedestrian safety.

“As much as we all feel for the owner of the structure, we know how helpful he has been to the community at large, we have to also take into consideration how everyone feels in terms of their safety and of the entire situation,” Dato said.

“There is probably food in that structure…there could be animals, rodents, insects…when they demolish it what is going to happen and are they harboring there anyway?” she continued.  “The other thing I noticed as I go by is that the fencing is on the sidewalk so people as they go by have to step on the street in order to get by. I’m wondering if we can have a plan as to how we might approach this.”

City Attorney John Lanza suggested that the council talk to different departments within the city to come up with a short-term solution to the issues being caused by the building.

“The first thing would be to get the health inspector out there to take a look at it to see if it’s a health hazard,” Lanza said. “The second thing is [have] code enforcement tell them to move the fence back. At least get that underway.”

Mayor Fred Henry spoke with Ed Paczkowski and learned that the insurance company is holding up the process.

“I don’t think, from what I got from him, he doesn’t have the final from the prosecutor’s office as to the causes and everything else” Henry explained. “It’s an ongoing insurance problem that he can’t do anything about.”

“He said he would love to get rid of that…he doesn’t have the money personally to do it himself,” he continued. “I don’t know if they would actually allow him to do it…so that’s the problem.”

Council President Mickey Gross felt for the Paczkowski family, who have owned the property since 1928, but also noted that the city needs to be fair to the rest of the residents in South Amboy.

“I like the Paczkowski family, they are friends of mine, but we need to be fair to the residents in the area,” Gross said. “Is it possible for the Mayor to sit down with Ed Paczkowski, possibly with the Business Administrator and our City Attorney, and come up with a reasonable timetable that this building will be knocked down that will be fair to the family and fair to the people in the area?”

Councilman Tom Reilly suggested that the city get more information on the ongoing legal battle surrounding the facility, insurance company, and the family before making a big decision.

“For us to sit here and say let’s move forward with this or this, at this point me personally I don’t have enough information to even make an educated guess as to where we would go,” Reilly said. “I would like to get that information first then decide what we’re going to do.”

The council will meet again for the monthly city council meeting on July 15th at 7:00 p.m.

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MON. Jan 22
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4:30 p.m.
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