Perinton’s crowd-sourced wrecking crew

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Perinton officials are giving residents a chance to take a swing at the former Hess gas station on Fairport Road. The site has been idle for years. - PHOTO BY JEREMY MOULE
  • PHOTO BY JEREMY MOULE
  • Perinton officials are giving residents a chance to take a swing at the former Hess gas station on Fairport Road. The site has been idle for years.
For the past decade – probably longer – a former gas station at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Fairport Road in Perinton has sat idle and vacant. It’s an eyesore on a busy corridor in the town, one that leads straight into the village of Fairport.

On Saturday, the building is coming down. And the neighbors who have been forced to live with the sight of it for years are going to get a chance to vent some of their frustration. Town officials are taking the unusual step of holding a “demolition party.” Simply put: at 10 a.m., the town is providing coffee and doughnuts, and residents will get to take a swing at the building with a sledgehammer.

“We decided to have a little fun with it,” Perinton Supervisor Jim Smith told me earlier this week.

The site sat idle for so long because the former owner, Amerada Hess Corporation, was doing cleanup work; gas stations often leave behind substantial soil and ground water contamination. But as the years wore on, the building deteriorated. This is a common problem with contaminated sites (brownfields), which often can’t be redeveloped or reused until they are cleaned up.

The town now owns the site and, ultimately, is using it to relocate O’Connor Road, Smith says. The move will allow O’Connor Road to use the traffic light already shared by Jefferson Avenue and Fairport Road. O’Connor currently intersects with Fairport Road just below Perinton Park and does not have its own traffic light.

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