Business group meeting: Battling ‘zombie’ properties

The next meeting of the RCS Community Business Association will focus on blighted properties and what can be done about them. File photo

RAVENA — “Combatting Blighted Zombie Properties” will be the hot topic at the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Community Business Association monthly meeting on Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. at Rail to River on 109 Main St. in Ravena. 

To register to attend, go to this link: . Cost for the meeting is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Pizza is included. Local brews will be available for purchase.

Assistant Corporation Counsel Christopher Cech of the City of Albany will cover how his city and others have successfully strategized around a new law to reduce blight and how this can be applied to Ravena, Coeymans and Selkirk.

“So-called ‘zombie’ properties arise when a homeowner vacates a property during the foreclosure process and prior to the transfer of ownership to the mortgagee (lender),” said Cech. “This often results in the vacant property falling into a state of disrepair as the foreclosure process drags on, which can lead to blight and/or otherwise unsafe conditions.”

New York’s recently enacted Zombie Property Law seeks to combat this by imposing a duty on mortgagees (or their servicing agent(s)) to inspect, maintain and secure zombie properties, and setting potential financial penalties for failing to do so.

Cech will also explain the basics of this law and relate how he and other cities have found success utilizing it in Albany. He will also review how partnering with neighboring municipalities for coordinated enforcement strengthens the effort. These strategies can be used as a tool by municipalities to combat potential and/or actual blight by ensuring that mortgagees are properly servicing and maintaining these properties.

A question-and-answer period will follow Cech’s talk.

The March meeting of the RCSCBA will feature another burning issue as it tackles “Employment Recruiting and Retention In 2022.” The featured speaker will be Tech Valley Recruiting President Leo Pulcher, who will share his expertise on the current challenges of hiring on March 24 at 7:30 a.m. at a location to be announced.

The RCSCBA is an all-volunteer organization of business and community leaders and interested individuals. The group is a catalyst for growth and prosperity through economic and community development initiatives that foster a strong business climate.

The monthly meetings feature “What’s New?” updates by local businesses and groups, briefs on matters of economic and community importance and include a guest speaker, a spotlight by a specific business and a question-and-answer period.

The group’s Facebook page is active at and the website is RCSCBA meets monthly at rotating locations.

To join RCSCBA, go to or contact Marlene McTigue at For more information about meetings, call 518-928-1825 and ask for Joy.

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