Future of abandoned Theresa building in limbo

Updated: Feb. 21, 2020 at 4:26 PM EST
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THERESA, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s an old old auto body shop and gas station in the village of Theresa that nobody wants and nobody can afford to fix. The abandoned building is in limbo.

Parts of the roof are barely hanging on at 213 Main Street in Theresa. The abandoned building once was an auto body shop, home and gas station, but in 2018 it was deemed unsafe due to code violations.

"It's more of an eyesore than anything; it affects the community's appearance and the small businesses around here. You know, it doesn't really look good for any community really when you have abandoned property," said Jordan Bridge, Theresa code enforcement officer.

Mayor Jonathan Walker says the property has been dropped from the Jefferson County tax roll and the county has no plans of taking it over. But village codes officials are trying to get the violations fixed or the building demolished through notices and court action.

The building is owned by 90 year old Bethany Smith. The mayor says she didn’t show up at court last time and wasn’t subpoenaed because of her age.

"It's just like an ongoing battle we are kind of fighting right now," said Bridge.

Smith's son, Mark, says some violations were fixed in the past but his mom just doesn't have the money to fix it up any further.

"My mother is on a fixed income with Social Security and she doesn't have the means to do anything with it," he said.

Walker says the village doesn’t have the money to knock down the building either, leaving the old gas station in limbo.

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