Dominick Calsolaro

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Letter to Assemblyman John McEneny regarging 6 Madison Place

Published on 9/22/2006

September 22, 2006

Hon. John J. McEneny
New York State Assembly
LOB 648
Albany, New York 12248

Dear Assemblyman McEneny:

The August, 2005 fire on Madison Place resulted in much damage to a fabulous block of houses in the First Ward. Most of the owners of the damaged buildings acted quickly to preserve their homes by securing the damaged buildings until insurance settlements were reached and rehabilitation could occur. However, the owner of number 5 Madison Place chose not to follow the good example of his neighbors and he left his structure unsecured, with no protection from the elements until December, 2005.

The non-action of this owner caused further damage to number 6 Madison Place from water damage and mold. This leads me to my question: Is it possible to amend the Insurance Law to require that property insurance settlement funds be used to secure the damaged structure before the money is signed over to the policyholder? I think that if this proposal was already in law, it would have prevented the owner of number 6 Madison Place from experiencing further damage to her property than that caused by the original fire.

In addition, such a requirement would help cities such as Albany, where there are hundreds of vacant buildings, many of them abandoned after fires or other damage, to better manage their vacant/abandoned building problem. By requiring that insurance settlement funds be used to secure a damaged building, the owner would not be able to just take the money and run, thus leaving the City to deal with another abandoned property.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Dominick Calsolaro
Common Council Member – First Ward

cc: Hon. Neil Breslin, NYS Senate
Hon. Ron Canestrari, NYS Assembly
Ms. Pat Green, 6 Madison Place, Albany, NY 12202