Supervisors voted unanimously on Friday morning to endorse the concept of a six-county land bank to be headed by the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD).
Encouraged to support the concept by MVEDD representative Steve Smith, the land bank would consist of the six counties that constitute the Mohawk Valley - Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie - and take in tax foreclosed properties to revitalize and then put back into the market.
The State of New York created ten regional land banks in 2011 with an up front investment of $33 million, which the coordinating agencies used to fix and then sell previously languishing houses. According to Smith, the state is considering adding an additional ten land banks to the program.
Using the state's initial funds to begin repairs, land banks continue to subsist off of the sale of houses. They receive no taxpayer dollars aside the state investment, and once the properties are sold, they return to the tax rolls at no cost to the local municipalities.
In addition to Schoharie County, the City of Rome and the Counties of Herkimer and Montgomery have also passed resolutions in support of the six-county land bank concept.
In other business, the Schoharie Board of Supervisors:
- Delayed action on utilizing eminent domain to rebuild the Shady Tree Lane Bridge until the May county board meeting. The delay was requested by County Attorney Mike West, who said the completed appraisals have still not been sent to the county.
- Heard from AECOM representative Patty Flores that crews are working on all four sites, with Platterkill Creek expected to be wrapped up by June, followed by Dave Brown Mountain, Line Creek, and the Little Schoharie.
- Voted to recognize the life and efforts of former Schoharie Town Supervisor William Vedder, who recently passed away. Vedder had served only one term, 1996-1998. His wife and daughter were present for the county board's recognition.