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Island one of multiple properties set for Lewis County delinquent tax auction

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LOWVILLE — Who wouldn’t want to own an island? You could get your chance at one in May as Grant Island in Brantingham Lake is offered along with 66 other properties at the Lewis County delinquent tax auction.

Among those 67 properties are 23 residential homes, three seasonal residences and 41 vacant lots.

“We usually have some businesses in the auction, but we have none this year,” said Treasurer Patricia L. O’Brien.

All of the properties can be viewed at http://wdt.me/DqQeq6.

Property owners have until the close of business May 16 to become current on taxes and have the parcel removed from the auction, so the list is subject to change.

The 1.6-acre island has up for bid a two-thirds interest in ownership as a whole.

It also contains two cottages, both built more than 100 years ago.

The island is not divided with property lines. Instead, the two owners share the island in its entirety.

Because the law prevents an interested party from bidding on their own parcel, the one-thirds owner, who is current on his taxes, is restricted from bidding on the delinquent portion at the auction.

Altogether, the 67 properties tally $256,250 owed to the county.

“That’s a substantial amount of money we’re owed,” said Legislator Gregory M. Kulzer, R-West Lowville, chairman of the Taxation Committee.

“I believe that could be a percent on the tax rate,” he said.

The money raised at auction goes into the county’s general fund.

Last year’s auction of 17 parcels brought in $63,835.

Two property sales, however, failed to be completed.

Purchasers of a residential parcel did not complete the sale of 631 Witzigman Road, in the town of Lewis. That property will be offered again this year.

A Greig gas station received a high bid of $8,000 for the site last year, but was later discovered to have environmental issues. Lewis County was left footing the bill as the purchaser backed out. Cleanup on that site is set to begin Monday and expected to cost about $20,000.

Possible contamination at the former Lyons Falls Elementary School, 6832 McAlpine St., and a closed kosher dairy plant on Route 812 in the town of New Bremen prompted legislators to remove both delinquent parcels from this year’s auction.

The auction will begin at 11 a.m. May 21 at the Elks Lodge, 5600 Shady Ave.

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