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What you need to know for 01/17/2017

Schenectady council sells vacant firehouse

Schenectady council sells vacant firehouse

It took three years, but the vacant Brandywine Avenue firehouse finally has a new owner.

It took three years, but the vacant Brandywine Avenue firehouse finally has a new owner.

On Monday, the City Council agreed to sell the former firehouse to Michael Earl for $32,000.

Earl runs a carpentry business and will put his administrative offices on the firehouse’s second floor. He will store his equipment on the first floor, city officials said.

By far, Earl’s $32,000 was the highest price of any properties sold by the city at Monday’s council meeting.

Two houses, on Summit Avenue and Bridge Street, sold for $1,000 and $5,000 respectively.

A house at 1664 Foster Ave. sold for $10,000. That property was given to the city by HSBC Bank this year, after a foreclosure.

The city offered it for sale through the rehabilitation program, in which new owners agree to make all needed repairs within one year. They receive a lengthy list of every code violation that must be addressed, and are subject to inspections to ensure the work is done correctly.

If they do not fulfill the terms of the agreement, the sale is revoked.

In other business, the council decided unanimously Monday that city housing inspectors should take over inspections for all Section 8 apartments.

Landlords will pay the city for the inspections, just as they do for rental certificate inspections. The inspection process for both types of renters has been combined so that all units will be held to the same standards, city officials said.

Section 8 apartments are units that are subsidized by the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority for eligible renters. Each renter selects their own apartment, and must find one that passes inspection. Municipal Housing Authority officials will handle the annual follow-up inspections for those units, they said.

The council also unanimously passed an ordinance to ban large RVs from parking along city streets.

Any vehicle more than 26 feet long, or more than 10,000 pounds, cannot park on a residential street except under certain circumstances.

The RV can park for loading, unloading and emergency repairs while awaiting a tow. Other vehicles of 26 feet in length can park while servicing a property. Emergency vehicles and wheelchair-accessible vans are exempt.

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