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A resolution for a longstanding problem

New local law will allow town to expedite demolition of abandoned buildings

Latham resident Alan Galuski, who lives adjacent to the abandoned and fire-damaged former KFC on Kunker Avenue, says he has faith town will use a new local law to demolish the building.

Latham resident Alan Galuski, who lives adjacent to the abandoned and fire-damaged former KFC on Kunker Avenue, says he has faith town will use a new local law to demolish the building. Photo by Andrew Beam.

— Before the legislation had been adopted, though, Joe Mahan, a building inspector for the Town of Colonie, said that the owners of the KFC building live in Troy. He said there had been several people interested in the place but the problem was always with the location of the store.

“I get calls on it frequently,” he said. “At one time, someone kicked a hole through one of the windows… It’s not a prime location. That’s my own personal opinion.”

There are several properties in the town similar to the KFC building, he said, but there isn’t much the Building Department can do since it was up to the owner to find a tenant. The department has tried to take care of some of the graffiti that has sprayed on there, but other than that, he said the building wasn’t in terrible shape.

“The property’s not in severe disrepair,” he said. “We’ve been there to take care of the graffiti. The business community needs to step it up.”

With this new local law, Magguilli said, the town will now be able to take down the property on its own. An owner must now register abandoned properties and pay a filing fee. If it is the first year the property has been abandoned, the owner will have to pay a fee of $250. After that, if a property has been abandoned for 10 years the owner must pay a fee of $5,000 and $500 after each additional year.

“There are arguments, there are noises such as trucks, I’ve repeatedly found alcoholic beverage containers,” Alan Galuski said. “Because of its abandoned status, it has become a haven for not only a hangout but also a dumping area, an illegal dumping area and it just isn’t right.”

The town board must approve all of this at a board meeting. Magguilli said the law does allow the owner due process as they are allowed to appeal and explain why the building should not be knocked down.

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Comments

subpoenaman 2 years, 11 months ago

I wonder if the town will use this law to remove the 'Al-Tech' buildings on spring street. It's only been about 20 years vacant.

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