CORTLANDT, N.Y. - Owners of two properties the Town of Cortlandt is evaluating as possibly "dangerous" say their properties are structurally sound.
"The building is not dangerous. Plus there's a lot of properties in the Town of Cortlandt that are similar to that but they don’t do anything with," said Anthony Carbone, owner of 270 Furnace Dock Road, and the assessor's aide for the Town of Cortlandt.
Carbone's property, and a former service station at 2134 Albany Post Road, Montrose, owned by Wayne Jeffers of Barrier Oil, were identified as properties the town will evaluate as potentially dangerous structures. Ultimately, the goal of deeming a structure "dangerous," is to force its owners to make repairs or to condemn the building.
In order to deem a building dangerous, town officials must notify owners they intend to inspect the property. If reports by the engineer and code enforcement manager indicate the property is dangerous, and the town board agrees, then a public hearing must be conducted. After the hearing, the town can require the building to be repaired, and if the owners don't comply within a certain period of time, the buildings can be torn down and the expense reassessed back onto the owner's taxes.
At this point, the town board must vote to authorize the review of the two buildings in question.
Barrier Oil owes $196,838 in taxes on the property at 2134 Albany Post Road. Taxes haven't been paid on it since 2001. The property owned by Carbone, at 270 Furnace Dock Road, Cortlandt Manor, is in good standing.
"I think I did a better job than what it looked like before, even though I'm not doing any improvements right now due to the way the economy is. I don't think the town can force anybody to do any improvements the way this economy is," Carbone said. He said the house is so well built that a tree that fell on it during Superstorm Sandy "bounced" off the roof.
Jeffers, who lives in Tarrytown, said he wasn't aware the building had become accessible, plywood had fallen off and windows are broken.
"That's something I would want to resolve," Jeffers said.
Asked what Jeffers thought of the idea that government could force a private property owner to make repairs, he said "I would not, not support that position. If it is dangerous I would want to resolve that, simple as that."
Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi said both buildings still are being evaluated to see if they are dangerous. "That's where we're at," she said. "So. we're not even at holding a public hearing or calling it a 'dangerous' building, or taking it down."
Puglisi said the town has received complaints about both structures.