Schenectady County

Glenville board approves cleanup of trashed house

An abandoned residence on Vley Road filled with rodent infestation and trash is going to get cleaned

An abandoned residence on Vley Road filled with rodent infestation and trash is going to get cleaned up.

The Glenville Town Board on Wednesday authorized Public Works Commissioner Tom Coppola to begin cleanup of an abandoned residence in foreclosure at 360 Vley Road.

“It’s getting to be a health issue,” he said.

Coppola added that he is not sure how much the cleanup will cost until he gets into the structure to assess the situation.

Town officials say the house, which is assessed at $169,800, is in foreclosure. The owners are listed as Robert and Misty Feulner, according to county tax records. A telephone listing for the Feulners couldn’t be found.

The property’s grass is overgrown and Christmas lights are hanging from the roof. There is also a broken rain gutter on the garage and unopened mail in the mailbox.

Supervisor Chris Koetzle said the town hasn’t seen a trend of people abandoning properties outright, but there does seem to be more cases of people neglecting upkeep on their residences.

“We’ve been responding to seemingly nuisance calls like grass overgrowing or the house may be in disrepair,” he said.

Glenville is in the process of trying to tighten up its code ordinance to crack down on properties that have been neglected. Koetzle said the current process does nothing to penalize repeat offenders. “We send a notice. They have 30 days to clean it up. If they clean it up before they go to court, they don’t get a fine. No harm, no foul.”

Then, the process can start anew. Koetzle would like to change that, so the offending property owner is cited with a violation and has to pay a fine, regardless of the whether the problem is corrected.

“It shouldn’t take you 30 days to mow a lawn,” he said.

Town officials plan to discuss the issue further in the next few weeks, according to Koetzle.

The town periodically has to take action against neglected properties.

In September 2010, the board took action to clean up three unsafe properties. With one property at 145 Haigh Road, the owner was dealing with some hoarding and health issues for about five years. The town went in and cleaned out both the inside of the house and the property of garbage and cut the weeds and the brush. Another property at 37 Marion Blvd. involved an absentee landlord who was from out of state and left his house unsecured and the outside with outgrown brush and debris. Action at a third property at 1983 Amsterdam Road involved removing debris and two other structures on the property.

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