Ogdensburg secures land bank designation, planner says it will help reduce blighted properties
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 9:07 am

OGDENSBURG – Ogdensburg has been accepted as New York State’s 25th Land Bank, according City Planner Andrea Smith.

At the Tuesday council meeting Smith told officials that the city was able to secure the designation, which will help the city reduce blight and improve development.

Land Banks are public authorities that take over the properties and secures funding to develop, rehabilitate or perform preventative maintenance to keep the properties from deteriorating.

Traditionally such properties are targeted by out of area landlords and are susceptible of falling into a cycle of vacancy. This keeps the properties in disrepair.

Ogdensburg has long struggled with a surplus of vacant, abandoned tax delinquent properties and has been working get city-owned property back on the tax rolls. However some buildings and lots are particularly hard to market.

City Manager Sarah Purdy said the land bank designation is a “critical component in this city’s ability to turn things around.”

Since land banks were first allowed by law in New York in 2012, 1,989 properties have been acquired for banks throughout the state. Of those properties 651 have been sold to private individuals or non-profit partners. An additional 482 of those properties have been demolished and 4000 have been renovated or stabilized by the land banks with most resulting in homeownership opportunities or quality workforce rental housing.