SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Syracuse will begin the process of foreclosing on its most tax-delinquent property, which sits just off Teall Avenue and is visible from the traffic on I-690.

The owners of the property, where D.W. Winkelman Company used to operate, owes the city $2.6 million in back taxes.

“This is an absentee landlord. We have not received tax payment. There’s be no attempt to redeem those taxes. There’s also been no communication with the owners,” Eric Ennis, Syracuse’s director of Business Development, tells NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan

The city could seize the property from the owner, but because of how contaminated the soil is, leaders feared it was a risk and that the clean-up could end up being the responsibility of city taxpayers.

Those fears ended Thursday, when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to not hold the city responsible for the contamination.

Without that risk, the city plans to move forward to taking over the land and getting a developer to build something new.

“When individuals call and they want us to focus on those areas, it’s important we do so. From an economic development perspective, but also for quality of life. Nobody would want to live next to a property with this level of remediation,” Ennis said.

Once the city beings the foreclosure process, it will go through a lengthy legal process. After that, the city hopes to have an idea of what could be built there in the future by the end of the year.

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