The Somerset Foundry building has a new owner.
John Toth, owner of Kantner Iron and Steel, purchased the defunct foundry as an investment property. He does not have any immediate plans for the building, but he has an architect seeing how much of the building can be saved and what needs to be demolished.
"It needs a lot of work," he said. "I don't think it can be saved."
He said rumors that he is putting a scrap yard in the facility along South Edgewood Avenue are not true. He bought some of the equipment from the foundry in an auction last year. Some machinery is being scrapped and some equipment is being moved to one of his other operations. He has scrap yards in Kantner and Listie.
Toth said two pole barns on the property can be saved but need to be cleaned. He plans to begin demolition in the spring and is working to get the necessary permits. He said sections have been added to the original building during the years making it difficult to salvage. He said he would like to save the center section, but will demolish the entire building if necessary.
"That is going to change the whole look coming into Somerset," he said.
Although he does not have a set plan for the property, he said he does not want the building to sit idle.
Toth said he was upset that during the acquisition process he was not approached by anyone in economic development about potential plans for the building.
"No one called me," he said.
Somerset County Economic Development Council director Gary DuFour said he did not have information about the transaction.
"It's difficult to do that without some base information," he said. "I look forward to talking with him and working with him on any project he wants to do."
He said Toth did not contact him about the project.
"That's why we are here," he said. "We will be glad to do that. We have to be brought into the process."
The foundry closed in December 2011, displacing about 30 employees. About 150 people were employed at the foundry 10 years ago. The buildings were sold for $155,000, according to the property transfer.