SLC to tear down 5 blighted residential properties

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 4:08 PM EST
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - “Blight is a problem not only in St. Lawrence County, it’s a problem across the state. It tends to be a very identified rust belt issue and we happen to live in a rust belt state.” said

That’s what St. Lawrence County Attorney Stephen Button says when it comes to unattended properties.

Following a unanimous decision by county legislators, some of those abandoned properties will come down.

Monday evening, lawmakers approved the demolition of five residential properties that are considered blights - properties that had not been maintained by the owners who have not paid property taxes in more than three years.

One of the buildings is on Elm Street in the town of Potsdam, the others are 67 Prospect Street and 48 Grove Street in the town of Gouverneur, 29 Front Street in the town of Clifton, and 611 English Settlement Road in the town of Morristown.

These demolitions are the first in the county’s new program.

“From the county’s perspective, it was something we needed to start tackling because blight is becoming a serious issue in our villages, our towns, and our cities,” said Button.

Legislator David Forsythe helped spearhead the program.

“We’ve been doing the commercial properties for the last several years and we’ve been kind of the poster child for the state since we started it. So now to get the residential properties in the mix and eventually, hopefully in November we will introduce it to the city of Ogdensburg as well,” he said.

The county has torn down 80 commercial properties.

Come the end of March, the first five residential blights will be added to the list.