The original deal, cut back in 2004, which allows the County to use the lot without compensating the City, was that the County would pave and landscape the lot and "develop" it as a parking lot. The public was led to believe at the time that, because of the way the old school building had been demolished (it was said that the building had been bulldozed into its own cellar and oil tanks had been left in the ground), the lot could not be used for anything but a parking lot without costly remediation. The paving and landscaping never happened, and it's unclear if the people thinking of selling it recall the use limitations the lot allegedly had a decade ago.
Then, there is the Dunn building on the waterfront and land that adjoins it--everything east of Water Street between Broad and Ferry streets. This is clearly a valuable asset, but it is also one that the City must handle very carefully. Developed well, the building and land can be an enormous economic boon to Hudson; developed badly, it could be a disaster.
Back in 1996, the Hudson Vision Plan imagined lots of commercial development on the waterfront. A restaurant would take the place of the Hudson Power Boat Association and the now vacant land east of Water Street would be lined with buildings that were meant to be mixed use commercial and residential--housing shops and offices, perhaps an inn, as well as apartments.
Today, the hopes for the waterfront tend to be a bit different. People talk of developing the Dunn building as an aquarium and natural science center and using the land east of Water Street to expand the park and create more green space.
At the moment, those two properties are all that the City has to sell. The old Kaz warehouses, acquired in 2010, belong not to the City of Hudson but to the Hudson Development Corporation. If they are sold, the money doesn't go into the City's general fund; it goes to HDC.
Speaking of things to sell, Hughes made reference to the vacant lot at the corner of Third and Columbia street where the old CC Club used to stand, but that property doesn't belong to the City. At the end of 2011, the City spent something like $60,000 to demolish the building and charged the demolition back to the owner, Overcomers Ministries, in property taxes. According to the 2014 tax rolls, Overcomers Ministries is still the owner of 255-257 Columbia Street, which is assessed at $12,000. It is not known if the cost of the demolition has been reimbursed to the City, but there is also no indication that the City is moving to foreclose on the property for nonpayment of taxes.
In 2013, the Common Council authorized spending up to $26,000 to demolish this house at corner of Fairview Avenue and Spring Street.
|Photo: Scott Baldinger|
So it seems that, in the past three years, the City has spent more than $80,000 to demolish buildings, and it is not clear if any of that money has been recouped. If it had been, coming up with $70,000 to reach the desired $200,000 contribution to the capital reserve fund might not have been an issue.
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