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Patchogue Village trustees vote to have 2 dilapidated homes demolished

The Patchogue Village board of trustees plans to demolish a pair of hazardous River Avenue homes that have been empty for years.

The unanimous decision was made after a public hearing at Monday night's board meeting.

It wasn't immediately known when the homes would be torn down.

The first home, at 70 River Ave., is owned by U.S. Bank National Association and has been vacant for years, village officials said.

A village inspector said the dilapidated house has extensive damage and is considered unsafe. Officials said rebuilding it would exceed the value of the structure.

The second house, at 180 River Ave., which has been vacant for more than a decade, has been vandalized and is in danger of collapsing.

"It's a disaster," village attorney Brian Egan said at the meeting.

Board members plan to have separate public hearings later this summer about knocking down two additional homes that are considered unsafe.

One of the homes is at 82-84 River Ave. The other, at 37 Maple Ave., is considered a zombie house, or a vacant home that is in foreclosure.

A yearlong investigation by Newsday and News 12 found that Long Island municipalities spent more than $3.2 million last year to clean up, board up or demolish zombie homes.

Long Island leads the state in the number of zombie homes, with almost 4,300 as of last month, according to RealtyTrac, a California firm that compiles real estate data.

The investigation found zombie houses have cost Long Island homeowners $295 million in depreciated home values.

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