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City Offering Good Deal to Neighbors on Vacant Lots

By Frank Parlato

Mayor Paul Dyster

If you live in Niagara Falls next to one of the hundreds of city-owned lots, you may be able to get a great deal on buying that property for as little as $500 if you want to expand your property and help the city at the same time.

“Having hundreds of vacant lots creates a big problem for the city,” Mayor Dyster told the Reporter in an interview last week. “It is very much in our interest to reduce our responsibility and to find somebody who is willing to be responsible for those lots, the most obvious being the people who live next door.”

There are about 600 properties in that category, according to the mayor, and he and city lawmakers are united in trying to do something that will get houses and properties into the hands of homeowners and responsible landlords.

The council approved a resolution last year clearing the way for next-door auctions and Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian joins with the mayor in seeing the benefits both to property owners and the city.

“You are improving your property’s value since your property is bigger and it is back on the tax rolls,” said the chairman. “It is not only economical for the city, it makes the property more comfortable for families.

Added Council Member Sam Fruscione: “I am pushing the plan to get neighbors to buy them. We will work out a deal and sell it to them.”

And it could be a very good deal indeed.  City officials have expressed interest in selling some of the vacant lots for as little as $500, plus minor adjustments, and are actually listing the lots for less than the assessed value to make purchases more attractive.

Seth Piccirillo, director of community development, said “our goal in 2013 is making that purchase as easy as possible while finding ways to re-purpose unwanted city owned lots, showing their potential.”

Mayor Dyster said people can contact the city administrator or community development to begin their process of purchasing vacant lots next to their property.

“We are not looking at so much as a revenue generator, as are a way to reduce costs.”

The council recently approved a $50,000 contract to cut the lawns on 365 vacant properties.

For a complete list of lots available, you can visit www.nf-cd.org or contact Community Development at 716-286-8801.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

May 14, 2013