Public hearing planned to discuss declaration of blight for former Massena School of Business
North Country Now photo by Andy Gardner.
By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- The village will hold a public hearing next month before voting on a declaration that the former Massena School of Business, 22-24 Main St., is blighted.
The hearing and declaration are pursuant to a blight code that Mayor Tim Currier pushed and the board passed earlier in his term.
Currier said if the board votes to declare the property blighted, it will give the village authority to enter it, "remedy violations," bill the owner for the cost and place a lien on the property.
He said they have tried to contact the owner to come up with a plan to remedy the numerous code violations to no avail.
"The property owner is out of state for the last two years. They've been notified for the last two years about the blight issue," Currier said. "We've received no response."
On the Development Authority of the North Country's parcel mapping application, the property owner is listed as FOSL Land Trust in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Hassan Fayad, Department of Public Works superintendent, said the village will most likely need to do painting and board up windows to keep out pigeons, which get inside and then die and create a biological hazard.
"If you're looking for aesthetic standards, you could focus on the outside of the building," he said. "I suspect we'd end up painting the outside and boarding up the windows. That's probably what we'd focus on initially."
The mayor said the blight code is designed to give the owners a chance to work out a solution with code officials, and the public hearing and blight declaration is the last resort.
"They sit down with us and say 'these are the thing we can do.' It's designed to be a reasonable process," he said. "They've chosen not to go forward and sit down and do that."