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Broome County Awarded Land Bank Program


(Binghamton, NY) – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston today announced Broome County has been approved by Empire State Development to create a local Land Bank, making Broome one of ten municipalities in New York State to be awarded this designation.  This year, only five communities in the State were awarded a Land Bank designation.
“Through the Broome County Land Bank, we will be able to identify properties with great potential and work to maximize their future impact on the economy and our community,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “The Broome County Land Bank comes at an opportune time, as Broome County continues to develop its first full Comprehensive Plan in 50 years.”
"Approval of Broome County's Land Bank application is great news that will lead to community revitalization in our area," said John Black (Endwell) who is Chairman of the Economic Development, Education and Culture Committee and a member of the Land Bank Board of Directors. "This has been a priority for the Legislature since 2011 and a lot of work has gone into our application over the last two years. I'm pleased that we've been approved and thank Governor Cuomo, Senator Libous and Assemblywoman Lupardo for their support."
The Broome County Land Bank will be able to take title to foreclosed properties that are historic, culturally significant or vital to future development in specific neighborhoods, to develop creative and long-term plans that will enhance the character of neighborhoods, and spur economic development.
The Land Bank will work to:
Ø Turn vacant spaces into vibrant spaces;
Ø Return vacant, abandoned, and tax‐delinquent properties to productive use;
Ø Spur investment in neighborhoods surrounding abandoned properties;
Ø Protect public health and safety by securing and remediating abandoned properties;
Ø Provide a mechanism for coordinating reuse of flood-impacted properties, primarily for hazard mitigation efforts; and
Ø Promote increased levels of home ownership.
“One of the biggest advantages of the Broome County Land Bank is that it will be able to take a longer view into the future, and work toward a creative redevelopment of these significant sites,” said Broome County Chief Planner Frank Evangelisti. “Vacant properties can lower the value of surrounding properties; the Broome County Land Bank will work to find the right owners with the right vision for these properties.”
“Recent examples of properties that would be prime candidates for the Broome County Land Bank to acquire include the Carnegie Library on Exchange Street, Binghamton, and the former IBM Heritage Country Club on Watson Boulevard, Town of Union,” said Broome County Real Property Director Kevin Keough. “Instead these once significant properties have sat vacant and decayed.”
Article 16 of the New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, signed into law by Governor Cuomo in July 2011, permits municipalities to create land banks upon approval of Empire State Development. Land banks are not-for-profit corporations created to take control and redevelop vacant or abandoned properties to where they can better serve the public interest. 
03/21/2013 - 11:47am