'Fight the Blight'

By Julianne Peixoto

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 7:13 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Two Broome County legislators aim to rid the area of blighted homes.

Blighted properties are vacant, dilapidated and potentially dangerous to communities.

"There’s probably hundreds [of blighted homes] across the county," said County Legislator Jason Garnar (D). "They are dangerous, there’s people that will go into these properties and use and deal drugs in them, they also pull down the neighborhood in many many different ways."

He and legislator Colleen McCabe introduced a proposal that would help fight the blight in Broome County.

Their proposal would assist the county's land bank in rehabilitating or demolishing blighted homes, by either partially or fully waiving the tipping fees at the county landfill.

They hope to receive millions of dollars in state grants.

"Last year, there was a huge mortgage settlement," said Garnar. "And the Attorney General of New York, Eric Schniederman, made available $20 million to land banks for them to submit grant applications to be able to award monies to land banks."

In order to receive money from the state, however, McCabe said full support for the county land bank is necessary.

"A major cost to land banks is the demolition and remediation of buildings," said McCabe. "Something that we can help do to offset these costs, and also to make our grant application look more attractive to the state, is offer this tipping fee waiver."

The application is due by the end of the summer and if all goes according to plan, Garnar said that blighted properties could start coming down as early as next spring.

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