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Why are taxpayers paying for power in vacant buildings?
SCHENECTADY -- Demolition crews worked to clean up what's left of a home on Paige Street.
The building--which was supposed to be vacant--exploded Sunday. CBS 6 News confirmed natural gas service was still running to the city-owned home.
Hundreds of homes are owned by SURA the Schenectady Urban Renewal Agency.
Some of those homes still have utility services up and running.
"Nothing is as simple as it seems," explained Chief Building Inspector Eric Shilling.
Shilling says some utilities are still connected to keep homes ready for resale.
Howeverin many casesit's a matter of stretched staffing. A set number of inspectors are tasked with the care of a growing list of properties.
"It's a very large task," Shilling said.
"We're just trying to make the most sense of it and go through it as methodically as possible, and certainly expeditiously, and try to make it safe."
We stopped by more than a dozen houses on the city's massive list. All but one of the buildings had its power lines cut or meters pulled, but some buildings do slip through the cracks.
"Right now, the city is overwhelmed, and that's the truth," explained Councilman Vince Riggi.
"I think this will send up a red flag on things we should do in the future," he continued.
Right now, crews say they're working closely with utility companies to stop services.
However, there is yet another wave of foreclosures set to be handed over to the city. That means inspectors will have to maintain hundreds more properties throughout the city.