WAVERLY — The Village of Waverly has fewer dilapidated properties now than it did last month as the Tioga County Land Bank demolished several of the buildings it took ownership of as part of its plan to reduce ‘zombie’ properties across the county.
Specifically, the buildings on 108 and 112 Park Place, 452 Cayuta Ave., 530 E. Chemung St. and 127 Providence Street have all been torn down, said Waverly Mayor Patrick Ayres.
“The last one to be knocked down is (457) Fulton St.,” he said.
The other three properties that the land bank took ownership of — 35 Lincoln St., 207 Howard St. and 429 Chemung St. — are being evaluated for rehabilitation, the mayor added.
Ayres explained that the land bank will next have the properties formally appraised, and then the village will decide which parcels are large enough for houses.
“We already know that the lot on Fulton Street is not buildable as it’s too small,” he said. “So that lot will be offered at a fair market value to the property owners on each side as a side lot.”
Ayres acknowledged that, in some cases, the homes being torn down were once beautiful pieces of the village.
“It’s unfortunate and very sad that some of these houses have gotten this way, especially (one of) the properties on Park Place,” he said. “In its day, that house was a beautiful house, and it was a unique piece of architecture. But over the years, the people who owned it — for whatever reasons and I’m not faulting them — however, we’ve talked about codes. Those houses fell in disrepair, and it got to the point that the amount of money it was going to take to bring it back, stabilize it and make it a livable property was too much.”
“Some of those properties — you couldn’t afford them if they gave them to you,” quipped deputy mayor Andrew Aronstam.
Ayres added that he had heard the community’s dispiritedness for the aforementioned Park Place property’s demolition, but noted that the village did not have a lot of options.
“I don’t like it either, but I don’t think there was much else that we could do with it,” he said. “The amount of investment needed in that building was too much, and it’s very sad.”