Financial setbacks facing the City of Ithaca have led to a halt over the summer in the cleanup of debris around the site of the former Ithaca Gun Factory, whose demolition began last November.
The entire process was broken down into two phases, where phase one involved the demolition of the building, including the complete removal of debris. The second phase entails the early development of the site for the construction of high-end condominiums in the near future, a project that would cost many millions.
The scene enclosed by the chain link and barbed wire fence surrounding the 2.1 acre property at 121-125 Lake Street represents your typical demolition site – save for a few transformers leaking dielectric fluid, federally-mandated aerosol lead monitors stationed around the perimeter and signs that read: “Danger: Asbestos, Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard. Authorized Personnel Only.”
Overruling the Community Advisory Group it created, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will back the standards supported by the developers of the Ithaca Gun Factory site for its remediation.
The Ithaca Gun Factory site, located above Ithaca Falls and the Fall Creek Gorge, is contaminated with a range of harmful substances. This past May, the DEC — working with the City of Ithaca, developer Frost Travis and the engineering firm hired by the Travis, O’Brien and Gere — announced a resolution for the site for the demolition, clean up and construction of a public park and residential housing.
In order to also address community concerns, the DEC founded the CAG soon after the announcement of the resolution.
On May 30, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced a final resolution for the Ithaca Gun Factory Site, closing a long and precarious chapter in the City of Ithaca’s history. However, many Ithacans feel the future of the site may still be up in the air.
The DEC — in cooperation with Mayor Carolyn Peterson, the City of Ithaca, developers Frost Travis, owner Wally Diehl and a previous pledge by the state — has authored a plan to dissolve the old Ithaca Gun Factory, which has been left stagnating above the rushing waters of Ithaca Falls for the past 125 years.