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Fulton Council Finishes 2016 with ‘Significantly More’ Gain from Property Sales

FULTON, NY – The Fulton Common Council ended the year with three additional sales of tax foreclosed properties as a result of their push to return properties to the tax roll.

At the final meeting of the year, the council sold three properties including one residential home on Hannibal Street that sold for $1,000, one residential home on Rochester Street that sold for $5,000, and a lot on Oneida Street that sold for $12,500.

“That may not seem like a lot, be we are lucky to get that out of it. What people don’t realize is, that saves us $25,000 -$30,000 in demolition costs that would be inevitable if they didn’t sell,” said First Ward councilor and council president, Tom Kenyon.

With these three final sales, the number of tax foreclosed properties sold in the past year by the council reached a total of 82.

“I have to say thank you to the council and mayor, I think we had a great year,” Kenyon said.

The council started the year with a push to sell as many tax foreclosed properties as possible.

The efforts began as each councilor received a list of the eligible properties in their ward. The councilmen then partnered together to visit each property on the list and determine whether they were ready to sell through real estate, submit for request for proposal or in need of demolition.

The stipulations of an RFP give the new owner one year to make the necessary changes to bring the property up to code based on the city’s regulations at which time failure to do so results in the city regaining the property.

With the number of property sales, the city has gained “$260,849 as it stands right now,” not including the most recent sales, said city clerk/chamberlain, Daniel O’Brien.

This figure is based on the gains the city made from sales, meaning after any taxes or money owed on each property was paid.

“It’s just been really productive that the council and mayor have been aggressive on turning these properties around,” O’Brien said.

He added that the gain in sales has been “absolutely significantly more” than the amount gained in prior years.

Specifically, he said, the city has seen a gain on average of at least $180,000 more than normal.

“Its a liability for the city to hang on to them but also in turn they are putting them back onto the tax rolls so it’s been a big positive for us,” he said.

While selling properties was a top priority for the council, a lot of work went into ensuring that the properties sold would not interfere with the caliber of each neighborhood.

“I think it’s great, the most important thing is that we have the most properties on the tax rolls as we can get. Having that in mind, we want to include the quality of neighborhood. We can’t just sell to anybody, so there’s a lot of involvement with the council in each step and I think the success speaks for itself,” said Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr.

The Fulton Common Council will hold its first regular meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, January 3 at 7 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers in the Fulton Municipal Building.

3 Comments

  1. “We can’t just sell to anybody” is a discriminating statement! What does that mean? It should be to the highest bidder, not the Mayor’s buddies or someone in his political party. This man who has been in office to long and for years has been hiding these properties and keeping them off the tax rolls, think of the taxes that were lost by his past policies. His original plan was to cherry pick them play contractor and fix them and he failed miserably with that one! Did we ever get an accounting of how much city worker payroll that was put into these house.
    Wake up people, need to clean house.

  2. ““I think it’s great…we want to include the quality of neighborhood. We can’t just sell to anybody, so there’s a lot of involvement with the council in each step and I think the success speaks for itself,” said Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr.”

    I think it’s great, too. Fulton is selling more foreclosed properties than any other City in Central New York. And selling them with the strictest rules for improving their neighborhoods. These are real positives for Our City. Reduced expenses that these foreclosed properties were costing the City, increased income from the sales, increased taxes on a broader tax base to keep taxes from skyrocketing, and strict rules for improving each individual property and ensuring that each is a single family home that will be an enhancement to the neighborhood. Yes, I am thrilled that Our City of Fulton is finally showing improvement.

  3. Selling of City owned property is always a good thing on the surface. The sale should retrieve unpaid taxes if not it nothing more than window dressing. Getting it back on the tax rolls is also a good thing. But when you sell a house for $1,000 what are the taxes going to be. Also when you sell a vacant lot for 12,000 you have to ask why was it purchased. Was it to sell to OCO for twice as much and we loose it as a tax property. Again just window dressing. Dennis has always said he likes the fact that I’m transparent. I would ask the City administration to do the same. Also one has to ask of the 82 properties sold how many are RFP and how many were vacant lots. RFP are making the city become landlords. In that if the person leasing the property doesn’t buy the property then it comes back to the city. Yes we may be receiving rent but I’m not sure if we receive taxes. One may be more than the other but the goal is to return them to the tax rolls not stay as city owned property. Also we have to ask how many of these properties will be coming back to the city because of the owners failure to comply with the rules set forth. I know of two on N. 5th St. that haven’t had anything done to them in 6 months. Then there is the statement about not having money to do the Demo of properties. I remember the city receiving some where around $130,000 or better from a grant to do just that. Where is that money now. They only took down one property on Emery St.. It is said each one costs around $25K to $30K. that would mean we had enough money to take down at least 5 houses. Again SELLING city owned property taken for tax foreclosure is a good thing if they are going back on the tax rolls at an assessed amount equal to the value of the home and not at the selling price. Also Dennis failed to see the fact that some of these were sold to Landlords and not single family homeowners. Which may or may not become a burden on the city codes and police. Good luck to the city in 2017 but I ask them to be more transparent with their sales and city dealings. I’m sure they will sell more property.

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