Medina seeks action on burnt-out stone building on Main Street

File photo: This photo from last October shows a three-story Medina sandstone structure at 613 Main St. that was badly damaged in a fire on April 7, 2023. The village wants some action at the site, either a plan to stabilize and repair the building, or perhaps have it demolished.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 May 2024 at 3:25 pm

MEDINA – Village officials have been waiting more than a year for some action on a stone building that was badly damaged in a fire on April 7, 2023.

But the building, with collapsed roof and floors, has largely been untouched in the past year, village officials said.

The three-story structure is the first building on Main Street next to the railroad tracks. Medina officials worry about how steady the building will remain. A year ago an engineer felt it was stable.

But village officials eye the site with concern after it went through a winter and a big pile of rubble remains inside the building.

The village has cited owner Jeff Fuller due the building’s ongoing disrepair. Fuller appeared in Ridgeway Town Court on Monday morning and Town Justice Joe Kujawa set a trial for July 29.

Fuller has told the village he wants to make the repairs and has a contractor lined up. But little has happened in 13 months. Fuller did not have insurance on the site.

Code Enforcement Officer Dan Gardner said it’s a difficult situation for all parties, a project requiring a big expense with no funding apparently in place.

Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency, said the building looms next to the railroad tracks and a viable track is critical to five businesses in Orleans County.

“It’s in severe condition,” Barone told the Village Board. “It’s a serious public safety emergency.”

Barone acknowledged there are no easy answers for solving the problem. The village doesn’t want to step in and assume ownership and face a daunting cleanup, demolition or rehabilitation cost.

She would like to see the building stay on Main Street, but she said no one with enough resources has stepped forward in the past year.

“I don’t want to see it go away,” she said about the building. “But I don’t see a viable opportunity. I do see a lot of liability for everybody.”