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75 parcels on the block for annual Niagara County tax foreclosure auction

LOCKPORT – Seventy-five parcels of real estate are scheduled to go up for bids Saturday when the Niagara County Treasurer’s Office holds its annual tax foreclosure auction.

Bidding starts at 10 a.m. in the Shawnee Fire Company hall, 3747 Lockport Road, Wheatfield. Registration of bidders starts at 8 a.m. As usual, Russ Scherrer of Auctions International will hold the gavel.

The auction is smaller than in recent years. County Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews said the county wrote off $436,322 in delinquent taxes on the 75 parcels, making that the amount the county needs to collect in bids to make a “profit” on the exercise.

Last year, the county sold 89 parcels for a total of $1.1 million, which was $706,578 more than the amount of the delinquent taxes. It may have been a record profit, and it definitely was the largest since Andrews became treasurer in 2010.

But the auction may become smaller before Saturday. State Supreme Court Justice Mark A. Montour is to hold hearings Wednesday on efforts by owners of eight parcels, who, as of Friday, had filed motions seeking to have their property withdrawn from the auction list.

Assistant County Attorney R. Joseph Foltz said attorneys for those owners are trying to win the court’s permission to pay off the taxes, even though the owners missed the county’s June 27 deadline for doing so.

“The treasurer’s adhering to a strict policy on the redemption date,” Foltz said. But Foltz said legal precedents from other counties may allow the judge to order the county to accept money that already has been tendered, even after the deadline.

Some of what appear to be the most attractive properties in the auction are those whose owners are trying to make last-minute saves.

They include a 2½-story home, being used as a multiple dwelling, at Lockport and Third streets in Youngstown; 31 acres of vacant land with 1,100 of road frontage, on Lockport Road in Pendleton; a modular home on 33.9 acres on Johnson Creek Road in Somerset; and a small Cap Cod-style home on South Seventh Street in Lewiston.

The most substantial commercial property in the auction, a two-story building on Quarry Road in the Town of Niagara, last used for offices, also is subject to last-minute redemption if Montour so orders. So is a 52-acre parcel of wooded land on Creek Road in Porter, noted on the list as having “federal wetland issues.”

A small house on Wilson Avenue in Wilson could be withdrawn from the auction, but its attractiveness to bidders was already constrained because of a $5,300 Internal Revenue Service lien on the property.

There has been significant interest in the auction, Andrews said, but there have not been a lot of calls about any single property.

Auction catalogs are available at the Treasurer’s Office in the Philo J. Brooks Building, Park Avenue and Hawley Street, Lockport. The information also is online at

Winning bidders must pay a 20 percent deposit, or $300, whichever is greater, on the spot at the auction, and cover the balance by Sept. 9.