County plans demolition work in city

GLOVERSVILLE – The Fulton County Demolition Team will demolish several foreclosed properties in the city this year.

The work will improve the look and safety of the neighborhoods where the properties are located, city and county officials said this week.

County Solid Waste Director Jeff Bouchard, who organizes the demolition teams efforts, said the process to demolish county-owned buildings is much longer than people in the community may realize.

For instance, the Board of Supervisors last week passed a resolution to demolish eight houses that are county-owned, tax-foreclosure properties in the city.

The addresses are: 161 Bleecker St., 109 N. Arlington Ave., 42 Western Blvd., 65 E Fulton St., 23 Second St., 7 Mill St., 5 Maple Terrace and 29 Bloomingdale Ave.

However, Bouchard said the demolition team will actually be working on taking down buildings previously approved by the supervisors a few years ago.

He said out of the list which has grown to 23 buildings that need to be demolished in the city, the seven his team will be responsible for this year include 26 E. Fulton St., 77 Washington St., 14 and 17 Park St., 128 W. Fulton St., 11 First St. and 4 Wheaton Ave.

“They do the resolutions but I’m still working on other resolutions,” Bouchard said. “The process of preparing a home to be demolished is lengthy and we have several steps from the point it is passed by the supervisors to actually doing the work.”

He said some of the things include routine inspections of the property, various paperwork and contacting the connected service providers to make sure all utilities have been discontinued.

Bouchard said he still hasn’t determined when the houses will be demolished because he has to manage that work along with the responsibility of the Solid Waste Department but he expects each of the houses to take about a week to complete.

“I’m supposed to get to these when I can operationally with the work that also has to be done at the landfill,” Bouchard said.

Several city officials said they are looking forward to the blighted properties being removed this year.

“You get to a point with these [houses] where they are beyond the point of being economical to repair,” said Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones.

“It’s huge and the fire department certainly appreciates it because there are people that unfortunately go inside these buildings that start fires and do other things,” Mayor Dayton King said. “Any open building is an attractive nuisance and I think it depreciates the value of existing homes around it.”