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Binghamton Mayoral Candidate Criticizes City's Approach To Blighted Properties

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

It's all about utilizing resources in the fight against blight. That's the position taken by Binghamton mayoral candidate Tarik Abdelazim, who says the current administration is not using tools handed to them to rid the city of vacant and blighted properties.

The democratic candidate says Mayor Rich David has failed to use $250,000 in funds given to the city by the Attorney General as part of an initiative to sweep blight out of the state. 

Abdelazim also says residents haven't been properly informed on how to report nuisance properties. The "Zombie and Vacant Property Hotline" was launched by New York State last year and is a way to hold banks accountable for the upkeep of properties that they have foreclosed on.

"I'm going to work with Broome County Tax Department. I'm going to ask them to put the Zombie Hotline number on every tax bill they send out," says Abdelazim.

Abdelazim tested out the hotline, reporting a vacant house on Gaylord Street. He says within two weeks, contractors had showed up to fix up the place on behalf of a bank from out-of-state who owns the property. 

The mayoral candidate says if he takes office, he would implement a plan which keeps better track of bank owned properties in the city. 

Deputy Mayor Jared Kraham responded to the criticism, saying the Attorney General has repeatedly highlighted Mayor David, for not just aggressive use of the Broome County Land Bank, but his efforts on Zombie Properties, public safety, and neighborhood quality of life issues.