Binghamton, NY - Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, Broome County Legislature Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds and Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David today announced a first of its kind intergovernmental partnership to fight blight and improve safety in neighborhoods throughout Broome County.
Under the plan, Broome County would sell foreclosed, blighted properties to local municipalities for a nominal fee. The County would also pay for pre-demolition asbestos screenings at the properties.
In return, the local municipality would pay for the demolition of those properties and the County would waive all landfill tipping fees for demolition debris from those properties, lowering the cost of demolition.
The City of Binghamton is the first partner with Broome County. The County will sell 13 foreclosed properties to the City for the purpose of demolition for $1.00 each.
“Blight affects communities all across Broome County and this program will help our municipalities remove as much as possible, which is of utmost importance,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “We want to thank Mayor David for taking a proactive approach to this and working with us to clean up neighborhoods in his community. We urge other municipalities to follow his lead. Removing blight not only increases property values, but this program also helps keep costs low, which is a benefit to everyone in the community.”
“No municipality has matched Binghamton’s aggressive approach to secure and demolish blighted properties,” said Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David. “When these eyesores come down, neighborhoods across Binghamton will breathe a sigh of relief. I thank County Executive Preston and Chairman Reynolds for supporting this impactful program in the City’s ongoing war on blight.”
“For far too long blight has been an issue in all areas of Broome County and finding ways to address this issue has become crucial to protecting our neighborhoods,” said Broome County Legislature Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds. “My colleagues and I in the Legislature are proud to have worked with the County Executive and Mayor Rich David to address this issue as a team. This is a great step forward as we help our local municipalities work to improve our communities and I urge all of our municipalities to take part in this program.”
The 13 blighted Binghamton properties slated for demolition as part of this initiative are:
The partnership will yield more than $150,000 in savings in the City’s demolition process. Before this partnership, the City would pay Broome County near market value for foreclosed properties it wanted to demolish. Landfill tipping fees and pre-asbestos screenings historically added tens of thousands of dollars to City demolition contracts.
Since Mayor David took office in January, 2014, the City has demolished 55 blighted properties.
In a new partnership with the Broome County Health Department and City Code Enforcement Department, these agencies will share data to identify public health hazards in vacant properties. The goal is to identify and mitigate hazards like poisonous lead paint in vacant properties prior to families and children moving in.
Broome County and the Broome County Land Bank will also donate 14 vacant parcels to the City of Binghamton for a cost of $1.00 each. Eight from Broome County and six from the Land Bank.