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Utica looks to start vacant building registry

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's been talked about for two years, and sitting in committee for one year. Tonight, the Utica Common Council may actually vote on legislation that would allow the city to form a vacant building registry.

Councilman Jim Zecca, of west Utica, sponsors the legislation. Vacant, boarded buildings dot several streets in his district. Zecca says the legislation would accomplish a couple of different goals: allow police, fire and codes officials to compile information about vacant buildings in the city in case of fire or other emergencies, and also force landlords to come up with a plan for the building.

"Having a valid registry of vacant structures allows us to obtain the owner information we can use in case of emergencies and I think it's proposed they give a letter of intent of what the owner plans to do with the structure so that's a positive," says Chief Fire Marshall Raymond Beck.

Zecca says the city modeled its legislation after the city of Binghamton's award-winning anti-blight initiative.

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