Oneonta Codes Department seeks to fight blight

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New move to cut back on properties in disrepair

CITY OF ONEONTA–Property owners of buildings in blight could face steep fines if they don’t come up to code–new code.

The City of Oneonta’s new city codes ordinance looks to tackle structures in significant disrepair.

Mayor Gary Herzig says the codes ordinance goes after safety hazards, and properties devaluing neighborhoods.

Herzig says the current blighted property count hovers around 50.

“Some are very serious life and safety issues, some are more appearance and aesthetics. We’re evaluating each one in a point system” Herzig said.

City codes says lower point values include peeling paint, broken windows and graffiti.

Violations with higher point values include rodent infestation, properties already on the city’s vacant property list and if they present an immediate danger to community health.

Owners of residential buildings in violation could face a $2,500 fine, while commercial building owners could see double that according to the ordinance.

Codes indicated that owners can appeal the city’s decision within 30 days of initial notice.

A restoration agreement can be entered into between the city and property owner; outlining how and when remedial work will be completed.

This option presents the potential for the fee to be waived.

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