Town to test for asbestos at Riverfront Park building

Historic buildings at Riverfront Park in North Creek

Historic buildings at Riverfront Park in North Creek Photo by Andy Flynn.

— The Johnsburg Town Board on Tuesday, May 15 agreed to proceed with asbestos testing at one of three buildings at Riverfront Park.

Town Councilwoman Katie Nightingale, who also sits on the Riverfront Park Committee, said the testing is necessary to determine the fate of the middle building at the site. Nightingale described the building as “falling down” and said the committee received an estimate of $150,000 to stabilize the building. That sum would not restore the building, but rather, would stabilize it and prevent it from falling down further.

Whether the town ultimately decides to restore the building or tear it down, it will need to know whether there is asbestos present, Nightingale said.

“Either way, we’ll need to know,” she said adding that the testing is an important first step in the decision-making process. If the town wishes to simply stabilize the building and leave it, testing isn’t necessary. But that option seems unlikely, she said.

The testing will be paid for, on a reimbursable basis, through a First Wilderness Heritage Corridor grant. The town acquired the park, formerly known as the Kellogg property, from the Open Space Institute. As part of that transaction, the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor grant came with it.

Riverfront Park is located southeast of the North Creek Train Station between the railroad tracks and the river. According to its website, the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor master plan envisions several possibilities for Riverfront Park including a New York State ski museum and/or ski hall of fame, an Adirondack cultural museum and visitor center and a farmers’ market. The North Creek Farmers’ Market already uses the property on Thursdays (3-6 p.m.) and will be held from June 14 to Oct. 4 this year.

But first the committee must decide the fate of three buildings on the property. The middle building is in the worst condition and therefore is the first to be evaluated.

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