Thursday, September 25, 2014

Troy Community Land Bank Approved by State

TROY, NY –Mayor Lou Rosamilia has announced that the City of Troy has been informed that Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, has reviewed and approved its application to create the tenth land bank in New York State. Named the Troy Community Land Bank, the program is designed to assist in the City’s efforts to return vacant or abandoned properties back to functional uses so that they can benefit the community.

“Our goals are to get vacant and abandoned properties back on the tax rolls and to improve the overall makeup of neighborhoods that may be suffering from blight,” said Mayor Rosamilia. “The Troy Community Land Bank will be a useful tool in our efforts to continue moving the City of Troy forward because it will have the capabilities and resources that we currently do not.”

“With admission into the state’s Land Bank Program, the Troy Community Land Bank will return vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties to productive use, restoring economic vitality to urban neighborhoods that have long been neglected,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams.   “Thanks to Governor Cuomo, communities like Troy now have the tools they need to take control and better serve their residents.”

The Troy Community Land Bank will have the ability to acquire parcels that are tax-foreclosed, as well as parcels that are sold or gifted to it. Once these parcels are property of the land bank, the entity will strategize with the City and neighborhood partners to develop and implement a best use plan. The paths toward redevelopment may include renovation, salvage, demolition of unusable or unstable structures, assembling of multiple parcels, or stabilization of structures so that they may be returned to productive use.

The land bank board members will consist of four members who have been appointed by the mayor, four members who have been appointed by the City Council, one member who has been appointed by the Lansingburgh Central School District, one member who has been appointed by Troy City School District and one member to be named by the land bank board.

Legislation to create the Troy Community Land Bank was presented by the administration to the City Council earlier this summer, where it was passed by an 8-0 margin.

To get the Land Bank started, the City has already received a commitment of $100,000 in seed money from the Troy Local Development Corporation and the Troy Capital Resource Corporation. While the City of Troy does not yet know how much the Attorney General’s office will commit to the Troy Community Land Bank, Mayor Rosamilia and his administration are anxious to move forward with the process.

The New York State Land Bank Program was signed into law in July 2011. Under the measure, municipal governments with the power to foreclose on tax liens are able to create a not-for-profit land bank in order to return vacant, abandoned and tax-foreclosed properties to productive use. Originally, the law set a limit of 10 land banks to be established throughout New York State, but that number was recently doubled to 20.

Other land banks that have been approved and established include the cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and Erie County; City of Rochester; the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County; Chautauqua County; City of Newburgh; Suffolk County; the City of Schenectady, County of Schenectady and City of Amsterdam; Broome County; and Albany County.

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