House to finally be razed today

The Fulton County Demolition Team prepares to tear down 35 Eagle St. in Gloversville Wednesday morning. The tax foreclosed property was identified for demolition by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors under Operation Green Scene, a program that selects buildings to be torn down that are deemed unlikely to sell in the annual county auction. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — A blighted city residence on the list of properties slated to be taken down by the Fulton County Demolition Team will be torn down today, roughly two years after it was added to the list.

Fire Chief Thomas Groff reported to the Common Council during Tuesday’s meeting that 35 Eagle St. will be demolished by the county demolition team today.

The property was selected for demolition by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors under the Operation Green Scene program that identifies tax-foreclosed properties that are unlikely to sell in public auctions due to their condition.

The county was authorized to assume property tax collection and enforcement on delinquent city properties through an intermunicipal agreement in 2004.

Operation Green Scene was established by the county in 2007 to address dilapidated government acquired properties. Properties that are identified under the program are removed from the annual county auction list and placed in the custody of the county Department of Solid Waste until they can be taken down by the county demolition team.

The Fulton County Demolition Team prepares to tear down 35 Eagle St. in Gloversville Wednesday morning. The tax foreclosed property was identified for demolition by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors under Operation Green Scene, a program that selects buildings to be torn down that are deemed unlikely to sell in the annual county auction. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

The residential property at 35 Eagle St. was added to the county’s demolition list in 2016 ahead of the county auction on tax foreclosed properties that is held each year in June.

Groff explained that the property was selected for demolition under the county program that is intended to improve the quality of neighborhoods.

County officials have suggested in the past that removing one blighted property from a neighborhood through Operation Green Scene can sometimes encourage the owners of neighboring properties to prevent their own homes from falling into disrepair.

Fulton County Department of Solid Waste consultant Jeff Bouchard was on site at the property this morning assisting the demolition team and said the demolition will take two to three days, including debris removal, before the property is turned over to city crews for site cleanup.

Bouchard said a number of properties across the county have been taken down this year by the demolition team, including four city properties, with clearances obtained to take down two more city buildings on Park Terrace and Second Street sometime this year.

Groff estimated there to be 20 to 25 city properties that have been identified for demolition by the county that are waiting to be taken down, adding that some properties were placed on the list years earlier.

Bouchard noted that there are more properties within the city awaiting demolition, but said there is a sometimes lengthy process that must be followed once a building is selected for demolition by the county before it can actually be taken down.

“It’s a great program that has worked exceptionally well,” Bouchard said. “But there is a process that has to be followed.”

Each property requires approval for and disconnection from power, water, sewer and any other utilities. After utilities are disconnected the county must file paperwork with the state for further approval.

Bouchard said the county demolition team works through the list of properties as they are received by resolution from the Fulton County Board of Supervisors, with the necessary approvals and when Fulton County Landfill staff are available to perform the work.

The county demolition team is comprised of county landfill staff members, who Bouchard said were kept busy with demolition work at the Tryon Technology Park in Perth, demolition projects for other municipalities and an extensive $5.4 million expansion project at the landfill that began in spring 2017 and was completed late last month.

Overall Bouchard spoke favorably of the county demolition team that performs work for other municipalities for less than a private demolition company and the program that takes down blighted properties in the city at the county’s expense.

“Many municipalities want our type of program,” Bouchard said. “It’s saving cost to the community and taxpayers.”

COMMENTS