Saratoga County is retaining an environmental attorney to develop options for how it can deal with the former county infirmary property in Providence.
The current owner of the former medical facility and 28 acres around it is now $27,000 behind on its taxes, meaning the site may come back into county hands, either through tax foreclosure or the owner’s bankruptcy.
The county sold the building in 1982 to Conifer Construction Group, which was planning a drug treatment facility. However, nothing came over those plans, and the building has been abandoned for a number of years. It has proven attractive to young people who enter with various intents.
“Over the years since it’s been abandoned it’s been the subject of numerous acts of vandalism,” said County Attorney Stephen Dorsey.
He said there are holes in the floors and ceilings and there is a significant amount of asbestos that will need to be removed because of the environmental hazard.
The board’s Equalization and Assessment Committee voted Monday to hire attorney Gary Bowitch of Albany to come up with options for the county to pursue.
Bowitch said the county taking ownership, if only temporarily, could make it easier to get state or federal funds to pay for an environmental cleanup.
The hazards of the building aside, the surrounding land may have value if the county takes it for unpaid taxes then looks to resell it, he told the committee.