Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Schenectady leaders are calling on residents to clean up their damaged properties

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Albany/HV: Schenectady leaders are calling on residents to clean up their damaged properties
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The city of Schenectady is holding its residents accountable for their damaged properties. City leaders are hoping to address issues including chipped paint, broken railings, collapsed roofs, and broken windows. Our Erin Vannella had the opportunity to ride along with local officials as they conducted a neighborhood code compliance review.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "We'd like to see a railing across the front and there's some minor repairs to the steps, and things like that and then paint will preserve that," said Schenectady's Chief Building Inspector Eric Shilling.

Schenectady's police, fire, animal control and code enforcement officers review neighborhood code compliance in the North End, and are asking residents to step up and clean up.

"We help people understand very early on that simple repair may help them avoid very costly repairs in future," explained Shilling.

The sweep is about holding residents responsible for their properties, being considerate neighbors, and sprucing up a community they can be proud of.

"We like to be in a decent home, neighborhood. I think it should be a lot better," said Schenectady resident Basmatee Harrinarayan.

The Harrinarayan's have lived on Carrie Street for four years.

"You see, if it's looking nice people want to come. You'll have more responsible people. Right now there are people only interested in renting," said Schenectady resident Vishnu Harrinarayan.

The summertime review happens twice every month, and is only the first step toward making changes. Notices are posted on doors and list required repairs. If residents ignore the first notice, they'll get hit with a second notice and a fine. However, a phone number is provided to connect with organizations that offer free resources.

Even if just a few of the city's 60,000 residents make some changes, officers believe the city will be better for it.

"We get a lot of thank you's. We get a lot of negative responses. I think that's natural. Hopefully they'll see us taking the lead and then take over after that and continue the improvement," said Shilling.

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