Cracking Down on Code Violations

By WBNG News

October 27, 2010 Updated Oct 27, 2010 at 5:32 PM EST

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton)

A once thriving neighborhood in the triple cities, now marked with many boarded up buildings.

The owners have not been able to keep them up to code.

But as Action News Reporter Leigh Dana tells us,

Johnson City leaders have new plans to address problem properties.

If you take a drive down Main Street in Johnson City, you'll see more and more blighted buildings.

"They're worn down, they're boarded up, no one can live in them," said Kevin Spoonmaker, a neighbor in the village.

The owner of 219 Main Street recently plead guilty to violations that left the structure unsafe.

And the NYPENN building almost had to shut down for code violations.

Down the street, a business owner says the area's tarnished by the eyesores.

"I think people are leery about coming downtown. My business is a little bit different because I don't depend on foot traffic. But I think we'd get more people down here to shop," said Michelle Moelder, owner of the Health Beat.

Run down buildings have been a problem that's been developing in the village for a number of years.

"We've a seen a number of individuals coming in from out of state and buying up these properties and not maintaining them, totally out of compliance with the code," said Mayor Dennis Hannon (D).

Some owners are working on restoring their buildings, like at 78 Main Street, where a baby fell through an open vent,

But others cannot seem to keep up.

Mayor Dennis Hannon says the village is developing harsher laws for landlords by increasing fines or stopping their revenue streams.

It's also working to combine code services with the Town of Union.

"I think we can get a little more aggressive we'll have additional man power," said Hannon.

"I want to see a very nice neighborhood where my kids can grow up in," said one resident.

Cracking down on eye sores to keep Johnson City beautiful.

Leigh Dana, WBNG TV Action News.

Former owner of the NYPENN building, Mike McKilligan, is currently taking care of the building's code violations including fixing the heat.

Johnson City is also looking at applying for a grant for new software that will help keep track of building violations.

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