City of Poughkeepsie razes ‘problem property’


POUGHKEEPSIE – A Harrison Street home was demolished Wednesday after the City of Poughkeepsie’s Anti-Blight Task Force deemed the house to be unsafe and the building inspector issued a ‘ notice to demolish’ to the owner that went unanswered.
Mayor Robert Rolison said the “problem property” owned by Joseph Todaro was torn down after a “complicated and cumbersome process” to obtain the right to demolish the boarded up house. 

Before …

… and Rolison, surveying the scene after the demolition

Rolison said “the costs associated with the demolition will be borne by the city and a lien against the property will be filed.”  The estimated cost to demolish the building on Harrison Street is $50,000.
“We’re not going to let it become an eyesore,” the mayor vowed as he assessed the pile of debris created when HighGround Industrial LLC tore the house down.  If the property owner does not maintain the lot after HighGround removes the debris; the city will use Tancredi Lawn and Property Maintenance LLC to maintain the tenth-of-an-acre parcel and the costs will be passed on to Todaro via violations or liens.
Rolison’s Anti-Blight Task Force was created to clean up vacant and abandoned properties throughout the city. 
“We are endeavoring to take down unsafe properties at least one every quarter,” the mayor said. “We are going to have another one come down shortly at 556 Main Street, which has been an abandoned house.”
Originally the work was performed by the city’s short-staffed DPW.  City Administrator Marc Nelson said the city is now engaged with Tancredi Lawn and Property Maintenance to manage the city’s robust attack on vacant and abandoned properties. 
HighGround Industrial, the company that performed the emergency demolition work after the recent building collapse on Academy Street will be performing the demo work listed by the task force.
Rolison’s plan calls for the demolition of at least one unsafe building per quarter but circumstances are allowing for another property on the list, a house at 556 Main Street to be torn down next week.

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