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Resolution Introduced to Curb Blight in Binghamton

Two democratic Broome County legislators are proposing legislation that they say can help fight blight around Greater Binghamton.
Two democratic Broome County legislators are proposing legislation that they say can help fight blight around Greater Binghamton.

Jason Garnar and Colleen McCabe are introducing a resolution that would allow for a partial waiver of tipping fees at the Broome County Landfill for properties that are owned by the Broome County Land Bank.

They say the goal is to get properties into the land bank that are brown fields and eyesore residential houses and buildings.

The county can then clear the land or rehabilitate properties and sell them.

McCabe says the legislation would give the county an added boost when applying to the state for grant money to fund land bank efforts.

"The reason why we have introduced it at this time is because the land bank is in the process of submitting a grant application to the New York State Attorney General's office and we want to make sure we're as competitive as possible with this grant application and showing that the county is invested in the land bank and wants to see it succeed," said McCabe.

Tipping fees through the land bank could not exceed 200-thousand dollars under the proposal.

McCabe and Garnar say taxpayers would not be impacted, because the landfill operates through a self-sustaining fund.

"As the county takes possession of more properties that have gone to foreclosure, they'll start to begin to transfer those properties into the land bank and then the land bank can access grants, such as this national mortgage settlement that is being passed down through the attorney general's office to be able to either rehab or demolish the blighted properties," said Garnar.

Only one property has been in the land bank - 50 Front St. in Binghamton - which Newman Development Group is seeking to buy and redevelop.

McCabe and Garnar's resolution will be looked at in a legislative committee tomorrow.
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