By Allison Collins
SIDNEY CENTER – Roughly 20 people, not including the eight-member Sidney Town Board, attended a meeting at Sidney’s town offices last Thursday to hear the fate of a trio of condemned buildings in Sidney Center.
Before reading and passing a resolution authorizing $80,000 toward the demolition of the three buildings, Town of Sidney Supervisor Eugene Pigford said, he sympathizes with residents’ plight.
“There’s a great deal of long-term concern from residents about the condemned properties and I’ve heard these concerns,” he said. “This is an emergency response to a specifically dangerous situation … and a crisis on Main Street.”
Residents of the hamlet have long sought demolition of the unoccupied and neglected buildings, calling them an eyesore and a hazard. Though the matter predates the Sidney Center Improvement Group, begun in 2005, the nonprofit grew out of this issue.
Sidney Center resident and SCIG founder Jessica Farrell recalled circulating flyers regarding the dilapidated structures 13 years ago. After more than a decade of advocating, Farrell said, she is “overjoyed” the issue will reach resolution.
“There have been four different supervisors and many code enforcement officers and board members in the last 13 years,” she said.
“It’s been a long, long haul, (but) knowing that the town will take these structures down (means) … not only will we gain a healthier and safer community, but an opportunity to build more trust. That’s a real positive for the people living here.”
SCIG president Michael Sellitti submitted a petition of concern circulated by Farrell and including approximately 150 signatures at the start of Thursday’s meeting.