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Third lane is possible for East Main and Factory streets in Gouverneur

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GOUVERNEUR — A plan is in the works to finish cleaning up a property contaminated by gasoline by removing a garage on East Main Street that would allow another lane to be created during the Route 11 reconstruction project in the village this summer.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation cleaned up what contamination it could around 374 E. Main St. in November. “Everything accessible was removed,” said Matthew W. Dufany, a DEC environmental engineer.

Crews could not reach contamination under the building.

“Should that become accessible, we’ll do another evaluation,” Mr. Dufany said.

The $9.1 million Department of Transportation project includes reconstruction of East Main Street from North Gordon to Railroad streets. The work includes water and sewer line replacements, the closure of Beckwith Street and intersection changes.

The village saw the roadwork project as an opportunity to remove the building — which has delinquent taxes — finish the cleanup, and use the parcel to make another lane on East Main Street that would improve access for Cives Steel, a Kinney Drugs warehouse and an industrial park of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency on Factory Street.

“What we’re trying to do is make it more convenient,” Mayor Ronald P. McDougall said.

The village and town are expected to apply jointly to the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency for money to remove the building.

The DEC does not have final figures on the cost of the cleanup, Mr. Dufany said.

St. Lawrence County will work with the state Oil Spill Fund on limiting liability as it has on other parcels cleaned up by the DEC and resold at the county tax sale.

“Because there are past due taxes, the county may play a role through the tax foreclosure process,” county attorney Michael C. Crowe said. “I think we have a plan to expedite the procedures.”

Property owner Richard D. Rotundo was not available for comment.

Officials want to speed up the process so the turning lane can be created by the DOT as it rebuilds that section of road.

“I would hope it can be done before this summer,” Legislator Donald A. Peck, D-Gouverneur, said.

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