Common Council meeting highlights for 11-15-2016

Damaris Carbone of Rivercrest Development Corporation reported to the Common Council on Tuesday that approximately 45 families have been evicted from city-owned properties due to not paying their rent. Rivercrest was hired in April to manage occupied properties that had been foreclosed on by the city, and have been responsible for collecting rent and handling regular maintenance and other tenant issues.

From the rental income, Rivercrest keeps 10% of the rent collected and deducts any attorney fees or maintenance costs. The firm has since passed on two checks to the city, the first for approximately $4,000 and the second for approximately $8,000. Carbone said that a third check will be forthcoming, but the amount has yet to be determined. Carbone added that all income-generating properties have buyers from the recent auction and that Rivercrest’s work for the city will end once the deeds for those properties are issued to the buyers.

According to Controller Matt Agresta, the winning bidders on city owned properties from the recent auction have until this Friday, November 18 to pay in full. Agresta said that so far, approximately 50 bidders have not paid. After the deadline, anyone who has not paid for their properties in full will lose their deposits.

Alderman Chad Majewski said he hopes to see the council make an official decision by the first meeting in December as to which properties that do not end up with completed sales will be offered to the second highest bidders, and which properties will be put up for a second auction. Majewski said he hopes to see the second auction sometime during the first week of January 2017.

Council members discussed at a committee meeting their intent to combine the two properties comprising the former Crystal Bar restaurant into one property and offer it at a second auction. The high bids on both properties were rejected at the last meeting. The council also informally discussed including properties 6A, 53, and 180 in the second auction.

The council reversed their decision on several auction bids that they had previously declined. A resolution to award the highest bidders for property numbers 77,90,232,256, and 257 was passed at the meeting.

The properties can be identified by their catalog number on the website.

The council passed an ordinance that restricts commercial or non-commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds, such as RV’s or large vehicles, from parking on city streets, except in the cases of making a delivery or performing work. The ordinance also restricts trailers from being parked on city streets unless they are attached to a vehicle. Click here to read the full text of the ordinance.

Mayor Michael Villa reported that progress is being made in locating the source of a continuing sewer leak into the Chuctanunda creek which flows into the Mohawk River. Although extensive work done during the summer to replace sewer lines under Forest Avenue reduced the volume of the leak significantly, the city has reported that approximately 10 gallons per minute continues to leak into the creek near Forest Avenue. Villa said that crews deployed a camera into the sewer line near the intersection of Sloane Avenue and Smith Avenue and found significant cracks and holes in the line running toward Clarke Ave.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.