Holyoke City Council votes to demolish Essex House - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Holyoke City Council votes to demolish Essex House

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After hours of discussion, Holyoke city council votes 10-3 to demolish the deteriorating Essex House on High Street, which will be a $1.5 million project.

City councilors had two agenda items related to the Essex House to vote on Tuesday. They first voted against returning the High Street building back to its original owners in a tight vote of 7-6.

The majority believed that the process would take too long and, no matter the cost, they wanted to get the building down before it fell and hurt residents.

Holyoke Fire Chief John Pond said last week that the building is a safety hazard.

"In my opinion, as head of the fire department, the building could fall down at any time," he said, adding that it's constantly falling now and that it has deteriorated from the roof down to the basement.

The second vote Tuesday night, to demolish the building, was an order referred to by the finance committee. It includes the payment of all costs to demolish the building. Councilors will now seek ways to pay this and likely go after money from the original owners after demolition.

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