Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 10, 2014

Dyster joins state attorney general for 'zombie house' discussion

(Continued)

Bacher believes a state-wide registry could go a long way towards helping municipalities struggling with vacancy issues, according to the email from Schneiderman’s office.

“A statewide registry would alleviate a significant local burden and shed light on an issue that until now has gone almost unnoticed,” Bacher said. “The registry would help to clarify the extent of the problem, so appropriate strategies and enforcement techniques can be developed and deployed.”

Mayor Paul Dyster, who is attending the NYCOM winter meeting, was one of five upstate mayors invited to have lunch with Schneiderman Monday to discuss the planned legislation.

Dyster, who described the vacancy issue as “intractable” and the biggest issue his city faces, said that he and other upstate mayors are constantly trying to address the root causes of vacancy.

“That doesn’t mean that while we’re (addressing root causes of vacancy) we can’t also work on things that control the damage done by the increasing amount of vacant buildings in our cities,” Dyster said.

Dyster said Schneiderman’s proposed initiatives will help cities like Niagara Falls by ensuring that someone is maintaining properties even as they sit in limbo during a foreclosure process.

“There’s also an awful lot that can be worked on in terms of process,” the mayor said.

Dyster said that it is encouraging to see the attorney general’s office addressing an issue that causes so many problems for upstate cities and Western New York in particular.

“The attorney general is giving us another tool that we can use to fight blight in our cities,” he said.

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