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Jan 27, 2015 9:41 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Expected To Accept $40K Bid To Tear Down Guldi House

Jan 27, 2015 2:18 PM

A dilapidated and long-reviled house on Griffing Avenue in the village will likely be reduced to rubble before the start of spring, Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore said last week.

The one-time home of former Suffolk County Legislator George Guldi, which has been described as an eyesore by neighbors since it caught fire in 2008, will likely be demolished by Unitech Services Group in Bay Shore sometime next month, Ms. Moore said.

Village consultant Ron Hill, the principal in charge of traffic engineering and transportation planning at Westhampton Beach-based Dunn Engineering, gave a report on the four bids submitted for the house demolition during last week’s Village Board work session, stating that Unitech’s bid of $39,900 was the lowest of the bunch. Three of the bids were in the $40,000 range while the fourth came in at $93,525.

The village will be reimbursed for the expense of the razing through a lien that will be placed upon the property; foreclosure proceedings on the house began in 2010.

Mr. Hill said Unitech’s credentials checked out and he recommended the firm because it handles its own asbestos removal while other bidders would have had to contract out that portion of the demolition project.

Village Board member Ralph Urban noted during the work session on January 21 that Mr. Guldi still has the opportunity to post a bond on the house, which is being foreclosed upon by Bank of New York Mellon, although Ms. Moore said that has not yet happened.

The Village Board must still formally accept the demolition bid during its next meeting on Thursday, February 5, though Ms. Moore said she expects that the contract will be awarded. It was not immediately clear when the razing would begin, but one of the stipulations that the village tacked onto its request for proposals was that the winning firm would have to be able to act quickly.

Once the board formally accepts the bid, Ms. Moore expects the work to begin a short time later, as long as the weather permits contractors to have access to the water necessary for keeping the asbestos damp to prevent particles from being released into the air. The demolition of the two-story house is expected to take about two weeks to complete.

After initially getting permission to demolish the structure from the State Supreme Court in Riverhead last February, the village was halted by a petition from Mr. Guldi, a former lawyer and county legislator who has been incarcerated since 2011 for his involvement a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme that targeted the East End over seven years, from 2002 to 2009. Mr. Guldi alleged that he was not notified in advance of the court hearing on whether or not the village should be allowed to demolish the rotting, boarded-up home.

Supreme Court Judge Arthur Pitts ruled last month that Mr. Guldi was, in fact, given proper notice and, therefore, a second hearing was unnecessary.

Many neighbors have shared complaints about the property, both during public hearings and when visited at their Griffing Avenue homes. Some have complained that both animals and children have gained access to the house in the years since it was left vacant.

Though most of the block’s summer residents were not around this week, year-round homeowners are looking forward to seeing the charred structure come down later this winter.

Kip Crennan, a 16-year resident of the street, said the building cannot come down soon enough.

“I don’t understand why it’s taken so long, but I am thrilled that it’s finally happening; it’s an eyesore and a danger,” Mr. Crennan said on Friday afternoon. “Teenagers and young kids could go in there and it’s at risk of collapsing as it is.”

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By oneseriousSicilian (63), medford on Feb 4, 15 1:03 PM
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