By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON -- A foreclosure judgment in favor of St. Lawrence County could put 188 additional properties up for sale at the tax auction this fall.
These properties judgment stemmed from unpaid taxes for 2015.
Including properties that didn’t sell last year, 213 total properties are expected to be listed. However property owners have until 30 days prior to the auction date to pay off the back taxes.
St. Lawrence County Attorney Stephen Button said last year 237 properties were facing foreclosure but only 150 were sent to auction as may people paid their back taxes and fees prior to the cut off.
Button said it’s the county’s hope that those facing foreclosure will find a way to pay their taxes and fees prior to losing their property, but said it’s important for the county to get properties back on the tax roll.
The foreclosure proceedings also includes five partial judgments for properties thought to have potential contamination.
Those include the Cornell Dry Cleaning and Gardner sites in Massena, the Woodward site in Morristown, MR Bells in Canton and Robert Rice site in Macomb.
Button said the liability associated with taking ownership of these properties must be investigated before the county will claim them.
The Cornell Dry Cleaning Corporation owes more than $800,000 in taxes and fees, but because there is high potential for contamination, the county is moving forward cautiously.
In St. Lawrence County about 40 percent of all property is tax exempt.