CANTON A condemned house wanted by the village of Morristown had St. Lawrence County legislators talking again of creating a policy on dealing with foreclosed properties.
Every few years, we have this discussion, Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, said. In the final analysis, its case by case because every case is so different.
In the latest example, legislators at a committee meeting Monday agreed to sell for $1 a vacant house at 402 Gouverneur St., Morristown, that the village wants for its Department of Public Works.
The current building were in dates back to the 1900s, Morristown Superintendent of Public Works Kevin J. Crosby said. There is no bathroom.
The DPW garage is not big enough to house all of the villages vehicles, Mayor Cheryl Shatraw said.
If the sale from the county goes through, Morristown plans to demolish the house at its expense and put up an four-stall garage with an office.
Were not looking for anything fancy, Mr. Crosby said.
The old DPW, which is next to the foreclosed vacant house, could then be used for storage or torn down.
The house, owned by Beverly I. Morley, Hammond, was acquired by the county after $10,915.30 in back taxes accumulated. The legislative action would remove it from the public auction of tax-acquired property that takes place annually. The owner could also still redeem the property for the amount of the back taxes before the sale.
When property taxes are not paid on a property, the county makes affected municipalities whole.
I believe we should still strive for a policy to get some reimbursement back, Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, said.
However, the county recoups its costs at the auction where it generally makes more than what is owed in back taxes, Legislator Frederick S. Morrill, D-DeKalb Junction, said.
There have been a number of blighted properties on which the county has continued to make tax payments to municipalities even though the properties will never be sold because they have some kind of problem, such as contamination.
At some point, the back taxes on those can be deemed uncollectable and the property taken off the rolls, County Treasurer Kevin M. Felt said.
In the case of the Morristown property, the village is doing the right thing by planning on cleaning up the condemned house, Mr. Morrill said.