Having never attended an auction of tax-delinquent properties before, Daniel Groover of Schenevus said he wasn’t quite sure what to expect when he stepped inside a meeting room Wednesday morning at the Holiday Inn on state Route 23 in the town of Oneonta.
But before the day was out, he was confident enough in the deals he was seeing presented to the buying public to be the high bidder for two separate properties, one of which sits on 11 acres on Axtell Road in the town of Maryland and has a small ranch house on it.
That property will cost Groover $36,000, plus an 11 percent buyer’s premium.
“I’m going to move into that one,” said Groover, who until recently worked as a licensed practical nurse at the Otsego Manor nursing home just south of Cooperstown.
The second property he acquired is a 34-acre lot off Konchar Road in the town of Milford. “I’m going to use that for a wood lot and for hunting,” he said, noting he bid just $7,000 for that spread of acreage.
Groover was among more than 50 people who saw a strong investment value in the properties offered by Otsego County’s government at its second auction coordinated by Edward Haroff, of Haroff Auction & Realty of Schroon Lake.
For the county, the goal was to recoup as much as possible of the amount owed to the county by the previous owners who had fallen into serious arrears on their taxes, as well as to get those properties back on the tax rolls, said acting Treasurer Henry “Russ” Bachman.
The county took in a total of $658,950 for the 54 units that were sold at the Holiday Inn. The amount of delinquent taxes owed to the county, going into Wednesday morning, stood at $678,817, said Bachman.
“We’re very happy we came close to what was owed to the county, and we now have 54 properties back on the tax rolls,” he said.