YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The town of Yorktown has set a Memorial Day deadline for the owners of the Roma Building to fill up its large parking lot hole, said Town Attorney Mike McDermott.
“We’ve been in touch with the landlord on a regular basis for several weeks, demanding that the matter be completed,” McDermott told Yorktown News.
McDermott said the town has put filling the hole at the top of its agenda. McDermott, along with Councilman Tom Diana and Supervisor Michael Grace, met twice last week with the attorney for the owner of the Roma Building, who has had several contractors inspect the site, he said.
“The work is being done by the landlord at the landlord’s expense,” McDermott said.
Despite the deadline, the town has little official capacity in resolving the matter, McDermott acknowledged. But he said the town has acted as an arbiter between the owners of the Roma Building and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
“The town really grabbed the bull by the horns and is really making this happen,” he said.
The large hole, which is partially surrounded by a chain-link fence, was created in January 2014, when it was discovered that the gas tanks had developed a leak and needed to be removed. Wendy Rosenbach, a regional spokesperson for the DEC, said the leak was discovered when the operator of the gas station was in the process of upgrading tank equipment.
“At that time, soil contamination from the underground tank system was discovered, indicating a spill,” Rosenbach said. The amount of gasoline that leaked into the soil is unknown, according to a report in the DEC’s Spill Incidents Database.
Ron Guarino, the operator of Citgo of Yorktown Autobahn, previously declined comment about the spill.
Councilman Tom Diana, who was tasked overseeing the Roma Building situation, said it is yet to be determined whether the hole will simply be filled-in or new gas stations will be installed.
Rosenbach said the clean-up of the contaminated soil must be completed before tanks can be re-installed in the same area. She said the Westchester County Health Department and the town of Yorktown are responsible for permitting the installation of new underground storage tanks.
“DEC does not issue permits for tank installation, although the DEC is requiring the clean-up of the impacted soils that surround where the tanks were located,” she said.
McDermott said he expects the town will have a more definitive timeline for the clean-up by the end of the week.