Ogdensburg Land Bank begins plans for fighting blight
Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 11:44 am

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the land bank had received $1.8 million. In fact the grant was for $600,000.

By JIMMY LAWTON
North Country Now

OGDENSBURG -- The Ogdensburg Land Bank Corporation hopes to have a proposal of property acquisitions and goals early next year.

The group held its organizational meeting earlier this week and is working toward identifying goals for utilizing the award of funding to address community vacancy, and blight.

The Ogdensburg Land Bank Corp. was awarded $600,000 in state funding recently.

Land banks are public authorities that take over the properties and secures funding to develop, rehabilitate or perform preventative maintenance to keep the properties from deteriorating.

Traditionally such properties are targeted by out of area landlords and are susceptible of falling into a cycle of vacancy. This keeps the properties in disrepair.

Ogdensburg has long struggled with a surplus of vacant, abandoned tax delinquent properties and has been working to get city-owned property back on the tax rolls. However some buildings and lots are particularly hard to market.

City Manager Sarah Purdy said the land bank designation is a “critical component in this city’s ability to turn things around.”

In May, Empire State Development approved the Ogdensburg Land Bank Corporation, making it the 25th land bank in the state. The Ogdensburg Land Bank Corporation said it would join in the effort to address blight and vacancies across the state.

“Land banks are a pivotal part of revitalizing and rebuilding neighborhoods across the state,” said Underwood. “Thanks to funding secured by my office’s settlements with the big banks, we’ve been able to invest in cities and towns across New York still recovering from the foreclosure crisis,” said Purdy said.