Binghamton mayoral candidate: Use CDBG for demolition

By Perry Russom

June 13, 2013 Updated Jun 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton mayoral candidate Rich David said he would aggressively seek state and federal funding to tear down abandoned properties.

"As mayor, I will expand code enforcement efforts, including better utilizing resources in the Fire Marshal's Office, aggressively seek more state and federal resources for demolition, and restore the 'addition through subtraction' program which utilized Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG) for demolition," said David in a statement.

Mayor Matt Ryan said the money just isn't there after the funds for the Restore New York Program was cut off.

Binghamton was an award-winning city for two years running on blight removal when the program was in place.

"There's a lot of things we have to accomplish with those (CDBG) funds," said Ryan. "I think it would be unwise to put all of those eggs in one basket."

Ryan said David's statement caught him off guard.

"I was kind of surprised that Rich David said, 'I'd reinstate the CDBG demolition program' because it's been going on," said Ryan. "What he has to realize is that we have less and less money from CDBG because our funds have been cut."

Ryan said David is offering nothing more than political rhetoric on abandoned properties, and to create an effective change real plans are needed.

David agreed, saying in a statement, "Rhetoric alone will not solve Binghamton's problems."

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