Product Of Success

Land Bank Discusses Tax Foreclosure Auction

The Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. discusses the Chautauqua County Tax Foreclosure Auction during its regular meeting Wednesday at the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport. The foreclosure auction starts at 9:30 a.m, registration at 8 a.m., Saturday at the Chautauqua Lake Central School auditorium, located at 100 N. Erie St., Mayville. P-J photo by Dennis Phillip

The Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. is becoming a product of its own success.

On Wednesday, the land bank board discussed the upcoming Chautauqua County Tax Foreclosure Auction during its regular meeting. Gina Paradis, land bank executive director, said the list of properties available during the auction aren’t of high-quality when compared to previous years. She said land bank officials have identified very few properties for rehabilitation and most will be acquired for demolition. She added no properties in the city of Dunkirk will be acquired for rehabilitation.

“Overall the quality of the houses in the auction are low,” she said. “There are a lot of demolitions, especially in Jamestown.”

Paradis said the land bank is trying to acquire substandard properties so they can be demolished and not be obtained by slumlords who will then rent them to people. She was asked if the land bank has the funding to handle the demolition of properties acquired from the auction. Paradis said they do have the finances for the next two years to handle the demolitions following the $2 million grant the land bank received from the state Office of the Attorney General’s Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative Fund.

Paradis said because of the low-quality of houses in the auction, land bank officials will have to look more closely at bank foreclosures throughout the year to acquire houses for its rehabilitation program.

Mark Geise, deputy Chautauqua County executive for economic development, said there are probably fewer quality properties on the auction list because of the work the land bank has done to rehabilitate houses in the county.

“We’re a product of our own success,” Geise said.

The land bank may need to evolve to possibly add additional programs like developing or managing housing to go along with what the corporation already does, Geise said.

Paradis talked about a meeting with County Executive George Borrello and Pierre Chagnon, R-Bemus Point and Audit and Control Committee chairman, to discuss the criteria for the properties the land bank acquires during the auction. She said land bank officials will meet again with county officials Friday to go over the final list of properties still available for the auction. People have the right to retain foreclosed properties up to the day before the auction. James Caflish, board chairman and county real property tax director, said, to this point, there has been fewer reacquisitions than in past years.

The foreclosure auction starts at 9:30 a.m, registration at 8 a.m., Saturday at the Chautauqua Lake Central School auditorium, located at 100 N. Erie St., Mayville. For more information, visit co.chautauqua.ny.us/543/chautauqua-county-foreclosed-property.

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