The shelves in a former Grand Union store in Kingsbury have been empty since 2001, something Washington County officials believe is part of a monopoly orchestrated by Hannaford Supermarkets.
Supervisor Terry Gould of Kingsbury said,"Were trying to get either Hannaford to commit to opening that store in a reasonable period of time, or work out a situation with the owner so someone else can come in."
Assemblyman Roy McDonald agrees with Gould, and said it's possible the Hannaford chain might be keeping the lease on the store, just to keep other competitors out.
McDonald said, "Were saying use it or lose it.They need to put this property in the area that will help the community make it available for competition, don't store it on the side, so your competitor can't use it."
Local people seem to agree with Washington County officials, saying it's a shame not to use the building. They also said If Hannaford isn't going to use the building, then they should let someone else in.
Dave Schryer of Granville said, "However the politics are, I don't know, but we need a store, and there's definitely a market for it here."
McDonald, along with other Washington County officials have sent a letter to Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, asking him to look into whether or not this practice would be considered a monopoly.
McDonald said,"We want him to investigate if they are, we want him to prosecute, if by chance he doesn't pick up this project, the town will struggle, but we will start our own litigation, and investigation and bring it to the court system."
County officials said it doesn't matter if Hannaford or another chain comes into the plaza. They just want another grocery store to replace the one lost in 2001.
Hannaford did not comment. The owner of the plaza said he has been in talks with Hannaford, and he said the company appears to go back on forth on what to do with the property.