Gloversville takes steps to acquire, demolish building

T building at 211 N. Main St., is shown boarded up. The city has taken steps to acquire it and demolish the crumbling structure. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council on Tuesday approved the acquisition of a building on North Main Street that partially collapsed at the end of May, planning to demolish the structure and a neighboring building that was previously acquired by the county.

The Common Council conducted a public hearing during Tuesday’s meeting on a local law authorizing the city to purchase 211 N. Main St. from the building owner, Rachel Ali, for $1.

The local law notes that Ali approached the city regarding the possible property sale after she recently purchased the building sight unseen and subsequently realized the building requires demolition. A rear wall of the brick building partially collapsed on May 30.

The city plans to demolish the building along with a neighboring structure at 213 N. Main St. that was previously acquired by Fulton County.

The local law states, “the city of Gloversville desires to acquire said parcel at this time, at least in part, to diminish the anticipated cost of demolition of a neighboring structure situated at 213 N. Main St.”

The Common Council began laying the groundwork for the removal of both 211 and 213 N. Main St. during the June 11 meeting, approving a resolution to put out to bid the demolition work for the pair of buildings that the city has deemed unsafe.

“It just so happens that it would be very expensive to take 211 down if 213 had to remain, so it would be much less expensive to take them both down at once,” Mayor Vincent DeSantis said on Tuesday.

The city plans to hire a private contractor to raze both buildings after which the Fulton County Demolition Team will remove the debris from the properties. The county team cannot perform the demolition on the pair of buildings as the crew can only take down county-owned properties.

“Our fire chief has interfaced with the county to develop a plan for us to take it down and for the county to then haul the debris away,” DeSantis said. “And they will apparently afford us the lower tipping rate so it will be cost effective to take it down.”

Following the public hearing during which no one spoke, the Common Council unanimously approved the local law authorizing the city to purchase 211 N. Main St. for $1.

According to DeSantis the pair of North Main Street buildings will be taken down this summer after which the city will likely attempt to sell the vacant parcels.

“A lot of times people will say maybe that could be a city park or something of that nature, but if someone were interested in building a new building,” DeSantis said, “that would be the best option, because then it would go back on the tax rolls and benefit the neighborhood.”

“It’s my feeling that the city really has to become more proactive in redevelopment, more proactive in getting rid of the buildings that are useless and hopefully replacing them with new buildings, new construction or rehabilitation of existing buildings,” he added.

By Patricia Older

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