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October 22, 2016
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Port Jervis revenue down

Mayor Kelly Decker
TRR photo by Any Tikka

Another, innovative way to raise revenue for the city that Decker is considering is to hold the mortgage for the properties the city acquires from tax sales.

“We now auction them off, but we want people to live in them. We can hold the mortgage for, say, a young couple at a very, very low interest, say 3.5%, and they can live there and pay off their mortgage. It’s good for the city. We’re acting kind of like a banker,” he said.

Decker is also considering converting city-owned buildings for services that would generate perpetual revenue. Among the buildings is the Wells Building on Orchard Street that used to be Candy Warehouse.

“I have people interested in buying it at the moment, but if that won’t go through, we are considering renting it out with a long-term lease.” He declined to give the names of the prospective buyers.

Among other, longer-term plans to bring revenue to the city is the proposed Whitewater Park and the associated development of the area behind the old railway station. Decker proposes to convert it into a parking area for the park and the new shopping area planned nearby, hopefully financed by donations and corporate monies.

“If we end up using taxpayer dollars to pay for it, it will have to go to a referendum,” Decker acknowledged.