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.
continued On Thursday, the town passed a resolution that ordered the demolition and removal of Sebastian’s, located on 705 Troy Schenectady Rd. The owner of the property, Charles Rafferty, is allowed to appear in front of the town board to appeal the process. If the board upholds the demolition process, Rafferty is given 10 days to begin the process and has 30 days from the start date to complete it. If he fails to do either of those, the town is then allowed to step in and remove the property and put a lean on the real property taxes. This means that before the owner does anything with the property, such as sell it or make an addition, the owner must pay off the cost it took for the town to remove the building. If the tax bills are not paid off, he said the town would be paid off by Albany County.
“Under the former law, we would have had to go to Supreme Court and bring a lawsuit against the owner,” Magguilli said. “Supreme Court actions can take awhile. In the event you can’t find the property owner and they have literally abandoned the property and walked away, you could put a court order on him but that doesn’t do you any good… We want to give the town the ability to go in and remedy the situation ourselves and put a lean on the property.”
Republican candidate for supervisor Denise Sheehan doesn’t feel the new local law gets to the crux of the problem, as she said the town needs to come up with a better plan for economic revitalization.
Her suggestion is to produce a plan that promotes private investment and make it easier for a new company to come in a redevelop some of the corridors in town that have abandoned properties so they can get back on the tax rolls with a new business moving in.