Schenectady County

Niskayuna gets OK to clean up yard, put cost on owner’s tax bill

Niskayuna town officials this week got the go-ahead to clean up the yard of a long-vacant house on C

Niskayuna town officials this week got the go-ahead to clean up the yard of a long-vacant house on Cornelius Avenue as neighbors simultaneously went to the Town Board to complain.

A contractor brought in by the town Friday began cutting back the overgrown vegetation around the house, using a trimmer to knock down the weeds around the structure, then mowing back the lawn.

The cost of the maintenance will now go on the property’s tax bill, Town Supervisor Joe Landry said Friday.

The town took the owners to court Wednesday for code violations. When the owners failed to show, the town won the right to clean up the property.

The house at 2 Cornelius Ave. has been in foreclosure since December 2009, though little progress has been made, according to county records.

The home has already previously been deemed by the town as unsafe and uninhabitable. A note to that effect, curling with age, remains posted next to the front door.

The court date coincidentally happened the same evening as this week’s Town Board meeting.

At the meeting, several residents spoke, asking for the town to take action. One even brought pictures.

Landry said Friday the town has been receiving complaints about the property since late spring, as the vegetation grew back. The town has also received complaints about broken windows and has since boarded them up, he said.

“The process takes a little while to get there, but once we get there, we can act pretty promptly,” he said.

Landry said residents who have general concerns about homes that may be deteriorating or that aren’t being kept up can contact the Building Department. Inspectors will then go out and view the property and issue citations if warranted.

“Fortunately we don’t have many of these,” he said. “But every year we have a handful and we try to deal with them to the best of our ability.”

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