MASSENA Following the news Monday night that St. Lawrence County would not pay a $3,000 bill for painting the now vacant Sunrise Mall, Mayor James F. Hidy said its not fair for the county to leave the costs of maintaining foreclosed properties up to the municipalities.
Once they are taken over by taxes, the burden should not fall to the municipality, he said.
Mr. Hidy said that while a bill for $3,000 may seem a little high for a paint job, the county should have paid the bill.
Ill give them that maybe it was a little too high, but the fact remains that for more and more properties that are foreclosed upon by the county, the burden of maintaining them falls to the municipality, he said.
Mr. Hidy said hes not sure how many properties in the village are owned by the county, but hes optimistic that in the future the county may be willing to work with it to clean up blighted properties in its possession in the village.
I had spoken with (County Administrator) Karen St. Hilaire and proposed that Massena would take care of the paint job that was done at the Sunrise Mall because we were utilizing summer help anyway, he said. However, Ms. St. Hilaire indicated that through mutual conversations we could possibly work together in addressing blighted properties that were foreclosed upon.
While the county wont be paying the bill, Mr. Hidy said he doesnt regret having the work done.
We were using summer help and, with the influx of visitors, it was the right thing to do, he said.
The mayor also questioned the manner in which the county forecloses on properties.
This village waited 10 years before we decided to do anything with the Slavins building. In most cases the county would foreclose on a homeowner within two years, but for commercial properties it seems like it is at their leisure, he said.