Council considers house donation: 14 Temple St. would be torn down

GLOVERSVILLE — City officials are considering a donation of a home on Temple Street that was damaged in a 2014 fire.

During Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, city attorney Anthony Casale said the owner of 14 Temple Street has offered to donate the property to the city so it can be demolished.

The property owner, Connie Duncan, is from Wheatley Heights, Suffolk County. The property was purchased in May 2015 for $2,200.

The fire started July 3, 2014 at the two-family residence when lightning struck the roof. The fire badly damaged the roof as well as portions of the second floor.

City Attorney Anthony Casale said he received communication from the owner proposing the city accept a donation of the building. Casale said he has been dealing with the owner about the condition of the property, both in and out of city court for several months.

“The gist of the situation, if I understand the temperature of the common council, even though this is a huge problem that exists [in the Temple Street area] and it should be [the owner’s] problem,” Casale said. “We find ourselves in circumstances were she is not able to do the things that need to be done to it; to remediate the building. It’s having a huge, detrimental impact on land owners and the neighborhood, so the city is looking to take action.”

Casale said once the building is city owned, the city could go ahead with demolition of the property.

Casale said this will have no impact on any fines leveled against the building’s owners. He said he would not be inclined to oppose an application to restore the case to the court calendar to vacate any decisions.

The council has agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed donation during its Feb. 28 meeting. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of city hall.

Casale said a resolution to accept the donation could be on the agenda for the Feb. 28 meeting as well.

“Once the public hearing is concluded and the local law is ratified, then it’s just a matter of having a closing,” Casale said about the next steps in the process.

This is the second offer to donate a building to the city in a month.

In January, David Eagers, of Two Great Guys Realty, based in Saratoga Springs, offered to give the city the former Littauer Building at 12-18 South Main St.

The red-brick property would likely have to be torn down, with a parking lot potentially going in its place. The council discussed keeping the facade of the building on South Main Street, as not to leave a gap in the strip of buildings downtown.

City officials decided to hold off on accepting the property at this time, after learning the building may be unstable.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.

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