A Williamston building is demolished, but questions linger over who cleans up the mess

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WITN) – The demolition of a condemned property with asbestos in Williamston is complete.

The old apartment building was condemned by the town earlier this year.

Shane Scalpi, the owner of SS Custom Cycle, shared a wall with the demolition site, and he is not satisfied with the job.

Scalpi says his building has sustained damages from the demolition to the tune of over $50,000.

“They didn’t even complete the demolition,” Scalpi says. “They left me with a piece of property next to me that floods, and possibly has asbestos buried in the ground.”

Town leaders confirm that bricks and debris from the demolition were used to fill the boiler room basement level of the site, but that it was done properly by the state’s requirements for removing asbestos.

The confusion started months ago when the Town of Williamston tried to locate the owner of the property. A now-defunct nonprofit based in Belhaven was the last known owner.

The town took responsibility for the demolition due to the nuisance it caused for residents. Town Administrator Eric Pearson said that is where the town’s liability rests.

“I’m a broken record to you, but we don’t own it,” Pearson said. “So, it’s not in our hands to say what’s going to happen with it.”

Pearson said that if there was damage done to the shop, Scalpi will need to make a claim with the contractors’ insurance.

Jones and Smith Contractors of Winterville secured the job from Williamston at the cost of $125,000.

Scalpi says he has filed claims with the insurance company for the damages.

Pearson disagrees with Scalpi, saying the town stands by its responsibility of removing the threat of the old building, but they cannot assume responsibility for a property they do not own.

The SS Custom Cycle team has been displaced from their shop on Main Street since late July 2021.

They say they will not be able to move back into the shop and resume business as usual until the shared wall, and the damage it causes is taken care of.

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