Montgomery County heading toward joining regional landbank

Montgomery County legislators say they support the idea of  joining a regional land bank, but postponed the vote at Tuesday’s meeting in order to clarify some technical details before going ahead.

At last week’s meeting of the Education and Government Committee, legislators voiced support for the idea of joining the Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank which already encompasses Fulton, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties. Committee members voted to send the resolution to the full legislature for action at Tuesday’s meeting. District 6 Legislator John Duchessi said Tuesday he favors joining the regional land bank, but moved to table the resolution so some details can be worked out.

“I don’t think there are any significant issues holding that up, but there are some technical ones with respect to consistency with other counties’ agreements, and we wanted to give [Corporation Counsel Meghan Manion] a chance to review it further,” Duchessi said.

“The county executive had some issues with the number of representatives we have on the land bank, but we’re going to talk about that going forward.”

He said he thought the resolution would be ready for legislators to act on at their next meeting in July.

Tolga Morawski of the Mohawk Valley Collective said the regional land bank would be able to compete more aggressively with larger land banks statewide.

“The big issue is numbers,” Morawski said. “You’re competing [for funding] with Syracuse. When you’re competing with a land bank that has half a million people, it’s hard to compete for the limited funds available.”

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.