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Saratoga hotel ready for fix

Engineers for both the city and Merlin Development have agreed to a concept plan for the stabilization of a failing wall in a vacant section of the Rip Van Dam building, meaning repair work could be under way as early as next week.

City Attorney Michael Englert said the agreement came at Tuesday's hearing in City Court. Bruce Levinsky, president of Merlin Development which owns the building, requested the hearing after receiving a violation notice from the city on July 3.

A plan will be submitted to the city engineer on Tuesday, Englert said. "They would be in a position to commence work pursuant to that plan no later than the end of next week."

Problems began in late May when pieces of the Rip Van Dam wall fell into the courtyard of The Adelphi, a hotel that adjoins to the Rip Van Dam building on Broadway. City officials noted that The Adelphi's courtyard has been closed as a result of the wall's instability.

In a presentation to the Saratoga Springs City Council on July 5, City Engineer Paul Male noted that "the trusses on the third or fourth floor have started to fail." He added that the building has had a number of structural issues for a while, but none has been as serious as this.

Male brought in consultant Ryan-Briggs Associates to evaluate the structure. The consultants estimate that temporary stabilization of the wall in question would cost about $50,000 and take four to five days to complete.

Englert said a conference in City Court is scheduled for July 21 to discuss the status of the situation. He noted that the city council has approved funding for the city engineer to utilize, enabling the town to begin the stabilization if the property owner does not comply with Tuesday's agreement. ""

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