Due to the excellent results produced in Phase One of the project, we were invited by New York State to submit a proposal for Phase Two funding. The proposal, developed jointly by the partners - the Town of Ticonderoga, assisted by Ti-Alliance and the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County (HAPEC) - was funded for 2021-April, 2022.
From 2017-2020 Ti-Alliance partnered with the Town of Ticonderoga Code Enforcement Office and the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County (HAPEC) in Phase One of a project to help with the problem of derelict and abandoned properties in Ticonderoga. The project Phase One was funded for $75,000 by the State of New York, with Ticonderoga as the smallest town in the state to receive such funding.
Part of the funds were used for increased outreach for mortgage and foreclosure prevention counseling by HAPEC. The majority of funds were used for the development of creative tools to strengthen the of the Code Enforcement Office. This included to:
Create a computer data base of derelict properties to systematically record and monitor key enforcement actions and obtaining a specialized software for managing this.
Create a new mechanism for the Town to mow and clean problem properties and bill the owner for this work.
Using the new NY State “zombie” law to push mortgage companies to secure and maintain properties that are in foreclosure.
Demolish and clear selected derelict properties that have come into County ownership for tax arrears.
Carry out asbestos surveys to move badly damages houses towards demolition; and
Identify priority problem properties for special attention by the Code Enforcement Office and the Town Attorney.
Based on this work, the Town was asked to apply for a 2nd round of State funding. Ti-Alliance and HAPEC collaborated with the Code Enforcement Office on the application and the Town received $47,500 for Phase Two from 2021 to April 2022. This included an improved Code Enforcement Office software (iWorQs) and electronic tablets which helped strengthen field work and to make it easier to transfer key data from the field to the office for legal actions. Funds were provided for mortgage counseling and outreach by HAPEC, and for a series of working papers created by the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance regarding the tools and analyses developed through the project. The anticipated additional buildings needing asbestos surveys did not materialize, and the related legal fees by the Town lawyer for legal actions on derelict buildings were less than projected, so a portion of the project funds were returned to the State when Phase Two completed in April, 2022.