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Land Bank Act designed to deal with abandoned buildings across New York State

By GARY LIBERATORE

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the 'Land Bank Act' into law - legislation that is designed to help municipalities across the state deal with the ever growing problem of vacant and abandoned homes.

Government officials say that problem leads to others, including crime, devaluation of property values, and overall appeal of the city, town or village.

The 'Land Bank Act' allows municipalities to form a not-for-profit agency which will acquire such properties where there are delinquent taxes and do what is best with it for the long term.

Senator Joseph Griffo of Rome says that the not-for-profit agencies would have between five and eleven board members who will oversee everything from acquisition to even selling the properties to developers. Griffo, who voted for the legislation when the Senate passed the bill in late June says, it's just one more tool municipalities can use to deal with the abandoned building problem.

"You'll be able to, through statute, or ordinance, create a corporation and they can be funded through a variety of means, subsidy through local government, revolving loan funds through industrial development agencies," Senator Griffo said.

Griffo says it will all depend on how the municipality sets up the "Land Bank".

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