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Historic Preservation Law Aired

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra will hold a public hearing Friday morning at the Rath Building to gather comments on pending historic preservation legislation.

The local law, which was approved by the legislature and awaits the County Executive's signiture to be finalized, was designed to encourage people to maintain historic properties.

County Legislator Barry Weinstein, who worked toward passage of the law for three years, said people who own historic properties and make significant improvements should not worry about a reassessment right away.

Weinstein said upgrades to the property would not be taxed for the first five years.

"It gives to people a tax benefit on improvements made to the property," said Weinstein. "In other words, if you start with a historically designated property and it is getting kind of dilapidated, and you want to fix it up, you can make improvements and it won't be reflected in your taxes right away."

Weinstein said a survey discovered there are 126-historically designated properties in the county. Thirty-six are in the Buffalo.

"The object of the whole concept was to help the city. It was to help Buffalo redeploy dilapidated properties and to take areas of the city, which are historically designated areas, like the Allentown, where a property might not be designated, and make it's easier for these properties to be fixed up," said Weinstein.

Weinstein said there are still more properties in the County that could be designated as "historic".