Village wants Franklin Avenue property cleaned up

SARANAC LAKE – The village wants to clean up a Franklin Avenue property.

The village Board of Trustees agreed Monday to set a public hearing on declaring 43 Franklin Ave. a public nuisance. If approved, the declaration would allow the village to clean up what village officials say is garbage that’s accumulated on the property.

“We have a number of problem properties in that area,” village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans told the board. “This one is one we sent multiple violations to and we’ve had no response. It’s a property that seems to be in financial and legal limbo, and we’ve not been able to get any resolution to a fair amount of garbage and debris around the outside of it.”

An old couch and mattress are visible on the side of the house, along with a large pile of cardboard boxes.

Evans said the house is vacant. The property is titled to Stephen Kirkpatrick, but Evans said its ownership is in question.

“We get mixed answers between the bank and who has title on the tax rolls,” he said.

This is one of several houses the village has targeted for cleanup over the past two years using a section of the village code that covers property maintenance. It says “no person, as owner, occupant, lessee or agent, or in any capacity, shall store, deposit, place, maintain or cause or permit to be stored, deposited, placed or maintained outdoors any solid waste, rubbish, debris, or garbage upon any private property within the village.”

The board agreed to hold the public hearing on declaring 43 Franklin Ave. a public nuisance at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the village offices on the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall.

If the village has to clean up the property, the cost of that work would be re-levied back to the property’s taxes, Evans said.