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Land bank funding moves forward

The Amsterdam Common Council voted Tuesday to contribute $15,000 to the Amsterdam Land Bank to help the not-for-profit organization’s effort to rehabilitate an abandoned house on Julia Street.

The money represents the first of four equal installments requested by the Amsterdam Land Bank Advisory Board. The resolution asking for the entire $60,000 was tabled Feb. 4. Fourth Ward Alderman Richard Leggerio did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, but the remaining aldermen voted 4-0 Tuesday to remove the measure from the table and amended it to include just the initial $15,000. The resolution authorizes Mayor Ann Thane to execute an agreement with the Land Bank group regarding future payments.

The local Land Bank is one of 10 statewide organizations created in 2011 to redevelop vacant, abandoned or tax-delinquent properties and restore them to productive use. The local group has been working to rehabilitate an abandoned property at 35 Julia St. in the city with the intention of putting it back on the tax rolls once it is sold. Volunteers have removed tons of debris from the house and cut back overgrown vegetation on the lot.

The group’s goal is to have the property ready to be put on the market by summer, according to Land Bank Advisory Board member Bob Purtell. Money realized from the sale of this and future properties in Amsterdam will remain in the city, Purtell said.

The rehabilitation is under the auspices of the not-for-profit Land Reutilization Corporation of the Capital Region, whose members include the City of Amsterdam, the City of Schenectady and the County of Schenectady.

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About John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.

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