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Colton buys Main St. building for $20,000, considers community center at site

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COLTON — The town has closed on its purchase of a blighted building at 90 Main St. and is pursuing plans to tear it down.

The building, formerly home to Julie’s Junque 2 Jems, sold for $20,000. Before demolition can take place, the town will have asbestos abatement performed, and the town has allocated $7,500 for that task. A contractor has not been chosen.

“Arlene Gotham was the woman who owned it,” Town Supervisor Dennis B. Bulger said. “They had a laundromat there, and they had a store at one time. It’s been used for many things over the years, but it has gradually deteriorated and we had to close off parts of the building where people were living in apartments because of the conditions of the building. It had become a bit of an eyesore in the town.”

The town negotiated a reduction in the asking price, and the sale price is less than the appraised value, Mr. Bulger said.

Potential uses for the property are being discussed, he said. “We’re looking at the possibility of a neighborhood center for sure,” he said.

Potsdam Neighborhood Center Director Daisy Cox said she appreciates the Town Council’s decision to take on the project.

“It’s always wonderful to see a community go ahead and revitalize itself and take a building that is clearly posing a danger and turn it into something for a community benefit, such as what you have here,” Ms. Cox said.

“We look forward to being able to provide the area with a food pantry out of the site, as well as to be able to work with people in crisis situations who might need maybe a little bit of fuel assistance or maybe some electric assistance. ... Having the ability to do that right here within walking distance to most of the rental properties in the Colton area is really a wonderful opportunity that I am very grateful for,” she said.

Details regarding design and financing for the project have not been discussed, Mr. Bulger said.

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