ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – After the City of Elmira approved a nearly $1.3 million investment into the aging Centertown Garage on Gray Street, 18 News is taking a closer look at some of the issues facing the 45 year-old structure.
City officials say the $1.3 million was spent on critical infrastructure fixes to make sure the garage is structurally sound. Parts of the facade have already fallen or are visibly crumbling. The money also paid for new LED lights for each level, and new lights that now frame the stairwell windows. The funding came from the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which awarded the City of Elmira $10 million in 2019. Tuesday, 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina reached out to Andy Avery, Commissioner of Chemung County Public Works, to ask for a detailed breakdown of how much was spent on what. As of Tuesday evening, we have not heard back.
The money was not used to fix the garage’s three elevators. 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina confirmed all three elevators are out of service by trying to use them. On Monday, City Manager Michael Collins said he was unaware all three elevators were down until Dubina brought it to his attention. Collins said he was under the impression only one elevator was broken, and that he would instruct someone from the City to look into the issue. We reached out to Collins again on Tuesday for an update. We did not hear back.
After you climb the stairs past the third floor, graffiti covers most of the stairwells. Collins told 18 News homeless people do get inside the garage after-hours. Collins says he would be in favor of repainting the stairwells. However, it is unclear how homeless people will be prevented from re-entering the garage and spray-painting the stairwells again.
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