Ten corner stores in Syracuse were the subject of surprise inspections Tuesday, resulting in one being shut down on the spot and five others given 24 hours to fix serious safety and code violations.
The stores were subject of surprise police, fire and code enforcement inspections.
Mayor Stephanie Miner, acting on complaints by neighborhood groups, announced the results of the inspections Tuesday.
??Today we brought together every city resource involved with the regulation of corner stores to determine if they were in compliance with health and safety requirements as well as a verified certificate of use permit, which is required for these stores to operate,?? said Mayor Miner. ??I want to thank the various neighborhood groups who brought these problem properties to our attention with a detailed list of complaints and the city workers who have worked so hard to address quality of life issues in our communities.??
In the press conference on Tuesday, representatives from those neighborhood groups were appreciative of Mayor Miner's initiative, even clapping after making her statement. Sharon Owens of the Southwest Community Center said it was not an anti-business message, but a message to discourage bad business in the City of Syracuse.
"We also want good business, business at all costs is not good business," Owens says. "So we welcome and thank Mayor and her administation for her research and the action that they're talking today and as we move forward we'll continue to be partners in this effort."
As of 2:30 PM, one store was closed after severe violations were found requiring gas shut-off. Another five stores were given 24 hours to correct the violations or close.
Delaware Market, 901-17 South Geddes and Delaware Streets, was shut down as gas and sewage were both found leaking the basement. National Grid was called to shut off power and gas. Additionally, the facility was found without working smoke detectors. Some of the workers at Delaware Market were present on Tuesday, and said they're working on the issues, which they hope are resolved by Wednesday, but still disagree with the closing of the store.
"I don't understand why," Andy Alfaro Sr., a maintenance worker at the store, says. "It's been blown out of proportion. It was something little and they made it realy big. It's not really right, especially for the people that live upstairs...and the store's not making any money now."
Delaware Market houses tenants on the second floor, who had to be removed from their residences after the inspection.
These five locations were given 24 hours to fix violations:S & R Market, 303 South Avenue, where a sprinkler system certification was found expired and illegal wiring extending to the adjacent property were discovered. S & R Market was previously accused of purchasing food stamp benefits at a rate less than their full value from customers. The store was accused of committing fraud against the federal food stamp program for approximately $210,000. One employee was arrested in May. Food King, 500-14 Oakwood Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, where problems were found in the fire prevention and electrical systems. Lexington Market, 105 Lexington Avenue, where sewage backup, illegal plumbing, electrical hazards, and an out of service fire alarm system were found by Code Enforcement. South Mini Mart, 2621-23 Midland Avenue and Ostrander Avenue, a property which included an illegal apartment, sewage backups, and improper electrical wiring Midland Discount Market, 1434 Midland Avenue and Colvin Street, which lacked a functioning fire alarm system and had faulty wiring.