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Group files another suit against Bethlehem Steel owner

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Buffalo: Group files another suit against Bethlehem Steel owner
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A preservationist group is taking the owner of Bethlehem Steel to court again over the demolition of the property. YNN's Katie Cummings spoke with the group about their plans.

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. — Demolition at Bethlehem Steel started in late January, but the Lackawanna Industrial Heritage group wants all demolition at the site to stop until an investigation can take place.

The group plans to file a lawsuit in Lackawanna City Court on Friday morning after it recently received a report on the structural integrity of the building.

"There were several other reports which were presented to the court which said the building is unsafe, it needs to get knocked down, and this report directly contradicts everything that was in there," said Paul Fusco-Gessick, Lackawanna Industrial Heritage Group attorney.

The group says the report was paid for the owner, Gateway Trade, and conducted by a Syracuse-based architectural firm. It states the walls are upright and the overall structure is not at imminent risk of collapse.

Some members of the group say the owner kept the report a secret because it would interfere with state funding.

"That ruined their chances of getting the Restore NY money and they didn’t want to publicize that, they didn’t want anyone else to know because the city wanted to be able to continue its case," said Dana Saylor.

Preservationists want the building to be saved since they feel it’s a integral part of the area.

"My husband, who passed away just a month ago, worked there for 42 years and he went through this building to get his job and so I think it's an icon for the city of Lackawanna, we should have this building," said Romaine Lilli, Lackawanna Historical Society.

"We now have a time to step back and investigate and look at intelligent re-use of the building," said David Torke.

YNN reached out to Gateway Trade, but calls were not returned. YNN also contacted city of Lackawanna officials but were told no one was available for comment.

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