Glenville

Glenville code officer urges residents to contact Schenectady County on squatters

48 Fredericks Road in Glenville last month
PHOTOGRAPHER:

48 Fredericks Road in Glenville last month

The town of Glenville code officer urged residents to call county officials to push an eviction case regarding squatters in a home on Fredericks Road to the top of the county’s agenda.

Code Officer Arnold Briscoe said people should reach out to the Schenectady County clerk, the district attorney, the county’s legal department and the sheriff’s department.

“I think a little pressure at them in writing letters or emails or maybe some phone calls we can get this moved along a little bit quicker than normal,” Briscoe said during a discussion Tuesday evening between himself, town Supervisor Chis Koetzle and town residents.

Residents of Fredericks Road have been battling for years to remove squatters from 48 Fredericks Road, who they say have left the property in disarray. Residents have noted unregistered vehicles, trash and other items discarded on the property. The town has cited the property for multiple code violations over the years.

The bank, MFA Financials, that owns the property is trying to evict a family squatting in the house — a process that remains stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only shut down and then back-logged courts, but also prompted a moratorium on evictions.

One of the occupants is Jason Sacks, the former building manager convicted of recklessly causing the death of four people in a 2015 Jay Street fire in downtown Schenectady.

While MFA Financials foreclosed on the property in 2019, the bank said it isn’t sure how long the family has been living in the house. Before the company was able to foreclose on the property, multiple people had been in and out of the property over the years, said Mike Kane, who lives at 49 Fredericks Road. He said the family — two kids, a man and a woman — has been squatting there for a couple years.

Koetzle said the town has no authority to evict people and situations like this are civil matters that have to be disputed before a judge.

Koetzle said the county handles the eviction process, while the town court handles code violations.

Koetzle said there’s not much else the town can do on the matter. He said the town cannot charge the occupants with trespassing either.

“The officer has no way of knowing what’s been paid and what hasn’t been paid,” Koetzle said.

At least one resident, whose name couldn’t be seen at the virtual meeting, asked if the town could call child protective services. Koetzle said he could not file a complaint with child protective services unless he had seen abuse first hand that he could attest to. However, he said if other residents have then they should file a complaint.

Koetzle said he doesn’t see this situation ending easily.

Kane said he was frustrated by the town’s discussion and that the town indicated it can’t do much else, yet wanted residents to reach out to the county.

“Nothing new,” Kane said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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