NEW BERLIN – Demolition before development is the idea behind the New Berlin Village Board’s decision to raze a staple on its main square.
According to New Berlin Mayor Terry Potter, the building on the corner of Genesee and Main Street has simply become too unsafe for the village to ignore – and too expensive to rehabilitate.
Board members now have a short-term goal to demolish the eyesore before it becomes a bigger hazard, with a long-term goal of attracting new business for the site.
“We’re really looking at the safety issue first,” said Potter, citing reports that rot and water damage have made the structural integrity of the building beyond saving. Even if the village were to attract a buyer or take on repairs itself, it may cost upward of $1.3 million to fix.
“It’s just not something we can afford,” he said. “So our first step is to address that safety concern.”
The building was foreclosed in 2018 and is currently in possession of the county. Plans are in the works to transfer the property to the village and wave the back taxes from 2014 to 2018 so there would be little cost to New Berlin taxpayers.
Barbara Stier, second deputy treasurer for Chenango County, says a transfer may be the best option for both the village and the county.