Middleburgh targets "disgusting" 111 Railroad Ave


The Village of Middleburgh is considering its options when it comes to a decrepit, disgusting, and dangerous eyesore at 111 Railroad Avenue.
Code Enforcement Officer Rick Fink has been working diligently to address the violations at the long-vacant home, Mayor Tim Knight said Monday, but Mr. Fink said they’re overflowing his desk.
And add mold and pigeons—both inside and dead on the sidewalk—to the list.
And the balcony’s in danger of crashing to the ground as well, he said.
Mr. Fink said the building’s owned by an absentee landlord—a company that doesn’t even exist.
Not only do his citations go nowhere, but water and sewer and tax bills haven’t been paid in 2-3 years, trustees said.
“I have no clue what’s inside the building,” Mr. Fink said—though sometimes, it’s people.
He can tell, he said, because sometimes the windows are open, other times they’re closed.
Mayor Knight said the building was condemned 10-12 years ago and though he’s no fan of eminent domain, that may be their only option.
Still, even in that case, Mr. Fink said, the village would have to pay to demolish the house—likely to be expensive because of asbestos—and there would have to be some payment to its owner, said Zoning Board of Appeals chair John Wingfield “though the argument could be made that it’s zero,” he said.
Additionally, if the village takes on ownership, it could be responsible for the back taxes.
Trustees asked Village Attorney Fred Mauhs to look into their options.
“I just wanted to start the conversation,” Mayor Knight said. “What do we do moving forward? Do we investigate or do we sit and wait?”