Collaborative effort will address derelict structures

MAYVILLE – Chaut-auqua County Executive Greg Edwards announced today that an addendum to the County-Wide Public Facilities Shared Service Agreement is being sent out to the 43 municipalities in Chautauqua County to help them address the negative effects of derelict structures throughout the county.

“The presence of derelict structures in Chautauqua County’s towns, villages and cities can stand in the way of positive development and pose a safety risk to our communities,” Edwards said. “By taking advantage of this addendum to the Shared Services agreement, municipalities will no longer be taking on the challenges and costs associated with demolishing vacant, run-down structures alone. Instead, we will be working collectively to provide each other assistance in making our neighborhoods a better place.”

The County-Wide Public Facilities Shared Services Agreement was first developed in 1995 so the County and its municipalities could enter into an agreement to share equipment, materials, and manpower. In December 2012, the County Executive submitted a resolution to the Chautauqua County Legislature, which was approved, to expand the Shared Services agreement to incorporate a remedy to the struggles municipalities were facing on derelict properties.

The addendum to the agreement will assist municipalities with addressing derelict structures within their jurisdiction by providing:

A Waiver of Landfill Tipping Fees for Construction and Demolition Waste.

This will provide each participating municipality with annual credits for tipping fees. One credit would allow a municipality to dispose of 80 tons of construction and demolition waste, including asbestos containing materials, at the County Landfill. Annually, each town and village would receive one credit, the City of Dunkirk would receive two credits, and the City of Jamestown would receive 4 credits. These credits can be saved for up to three years. They can also be loaned to other municipalities or exchanged for shared services assistance, but cannot be sold for cash.

Use of Chautauqua County Sanitary Code.

This will allow the County to join in municipalities’ enforcement of building codes, zoning ordinances, and derelict structure laws by utilizing its County Sanitary Code to identify and hold responsible parties liable for the expense and/or remediation of problem properties.

In Rem Tax Foreclosures and Land Bank.

This will allow the County to assist local governments in obtaining titles through tax foreclosures to advance their funding awards and use the County Land Bank to help with the potential resale or redevelopment of project properties.

Project Assistance and Support of Grant Applications and Funding Requests.

This will enable the County to provide technical assistance for projects, where possible, and provide letters of support to assist individuals or groups with their grant applications and funding requests during the New York Western Region Consolidated Funding Reviews. The County will also provide, when available, equipment, materials and manpower for derelict structure projects pursuant to the terms of the existing Shared Highway Services agreement.

“Although all local governments are trying to do more with less, I am committed to using our collective resources in the most advantageous way possible and working to reduce the presence of derelict structures in Chautauqua County,” Ed-wards said. “I encourage our municipal leaders to take advantage of this important opportunity.”