Parrott House closed. Again.


By David Avitabile

The Parrott House has been closed again and once more, its future is murky.
The Schoharie landmark was closed Monday because the building is "unsafe and unfit for human occupancy," according to village code officer Joe Whipple.
Owner David McSweeney was issued a conditional certificate of occupancy on May 3 to complete several repairs and upgrades and the work has not been done, Mr. Whipple added.
"He's closed because of non-compliance," Mr. Whipple said. "He's had enough time to comply and he hasn't."
The State Department of Codes issued a variance in the spring that allowed the restaurant to reopen if a smoke and fire alarm detection system was installed for the entire building and this was not done, he added. The system would have been in lieu of a sprinkler system.
"He knew what the variance required," Mr. Whipple noted.
In addition, Mr. McSweeney failed to get the electrical system on the second and third floors of the building inspected.
According to an electrician who quickly looked at the wiring on the second and third floor, it is "not a good situation," according to Mr. Whipple.
On Monday afternoon, Mr. McSweeney still had not decided the fate of the Main Street landmark which he purchased just before the August 2011 flood.
"I really don't know, I'm in limbo," he responded when asked if he would reopen.
He will wait until he hears from his attorney and the alarm installer before taking a next step.
"We have a lot of money invested in this building. How much can you put in?...
"We make food and serve drinks, we don't make money."
Mr. McSweeney said he recently got approval for $15,000 in funding for the smoke and fire alarm system and it would take between seven and 14 days to install the system.
The electrical wiring on the second and third floors has been looked at and the electrician is looking into "grandfathering clauses," according to Mr. McSweeney.
He wondered why the building is being targeted.
"This is ridiculous. This is nuts. This is getting personal." He questioned why one building is being singled out "in the whole village.
"There's a lot worse buildings around."
The Parrott House, he added, had eight to nine employees that depend on the restaurant being open.
Mr. Whipple answered that the building has been closed because of non-compliance and safety issues.
"He was well aware what was going to happen."
Local officials have worked with Mr. McSweeney to keep the restaurant open, Mr. Whipple added.
"We've given him every opportunity to comply. The last thing we want to see is a business close in Schoharie but it comes to a point when it's unsafe, it's unsafe."
The Parrott House was closed in April after its temporary CO was pulled after code and safety issues were corrected. It reopened in early May when the conditional CO was issued.