[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam: Art. I, 10-5-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, any inconsistent provisions of law notwithstanding, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Building Inspector for the city, unless the Mayor appoints some other city officer as Code Enforcement Officer within any appropriation therefor or the Common Council by resolution establishes the position of Code Enforcement Officer and a qualified person is appointed thereto pursuant to the City Charter.
- Any unpaid tax special ad valorem levy, special assessment or other charge imposed upon real property by or on behalf of the city or special district, which is an encumbrance on real property and which has remained undischarged for a period of one year or more.
- REAL PROPERTY
- Any property upon which there is erected any residential, commercial or industrial building or structure.
- SPECIAL LIEN
- A lien upon fire insurance proceeds pursuant to this chapter and § 22 of the General Municipal Law.
This chapter authorizes the City of Amsterdam to make a claim against the proceeds of a policy of fire insurance which insures the interest of an owner and is issued on real property located within the city.
The claim shall be a lien on the real property when filed and perfected in the manner required by General Municipal Law § 22.
The city's claim shall constitute a lien against the proceeds of a fire insurance policy and the city's lien shall be prior to all other liens and claims except the claim of a mortgagee of record named in a fire insurance policy.
This chapter further provides the city with a mechanism for assuring that structures which have been damaged or destroyed by fire may be restored or removed in the public's interest.
The Controller shall file a notice of intention to claim against the proceeds of fire insurance policies with the State Superintendent of Insurance for entry in the Index of Tax Districts maintained by him in accordance with § 331 of the Insurance Law.
After a claim has been filed, the Controller shall provide to any insurer, so requesting pursuant to Insurance Law § 331(d), a certificate setting forth the amount of all liens claimed by the city against a property, including interest and penalties to the date of the certificate.
The Controller shall provide the insurer with the above certificate within 20 days of receipt of the demand by the insurer.
After a building has been damaged or destroyed by fire, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the owner of the property, and any additional insured under a fire insurance policy, of the city's certificate of special lien against both the property and the insurance proceeds.
Notice of the certificate of special lien shall be sent to the property owner at his last known address as listed in the city's tax records. Notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the certified mail is unclaimed, notice may be sent by regular mail. The provisions of this chapter shall not be interpreted or construed to alter or impair the right of the city to acquire or enforce any lien against property, but shall be in addition to any other power provided by law to acquire or enforce such right.
Any or all of the proceeds of a fire insurance policy which will be or has been paid to the city instead of an insured may be paid or released to the insured if the insured satisfies the Code Enforcement officer that the affected premises have been or will be:
To secure such payment or release of fire insurance proceeds, the insured must notify the Code Enforcement Officer, within 45 days after the mailing to the insured of the certificate of special lien pursuant to § 143-3 of this chapter, of the intention to restore, repair or demolish the affected premises. The insured must then file with the Code Enforcement Officer a completed application with all required supporting documentation pursuant to § 143-6 of this chapter within 60 days thereafter, unless the Code Enforcement Officer grants an extension for a state period of time.
The release or return to the insured of any amounts due under the fire insurance policy shall be subject to the following conditions:
Such release or return shall be subject to the repair, restoration or demolition of the affected premises. Any repair or restoration must comply with applicable building laws.
The insured shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer an application, in affidavit form, with such supporting documentation as the Code Enforcement Officer shall require containing the following:
A complete description of the nature and extent of the damage to the insured premises and of the condition of the premises prior to the time the lien of the city arose.
A complete description of the nature of the repair, restoration or demolition to be undertaken and cost thereof.
A statement as to the source of funds needed to complete such repair, restoration or demolition if the insurance proceeds are not sufficient therefor.
The name and address of each contractor who will effect such repair, restoration or demolition.
An estimated time schedule showing how long the repair, restoration or demolition and each phase thereof will take.
Such other information as may be required by the Code Enforcement Officer to enable him to determine whether the repair, restoration or demolition are in the public interest and will be made or have been timely and properly made.
Upon preliminary approval of an application by the Building Inspector, the Code Enforcement Officer may enter into a written agreement with the insured, which shall set forth the terms and conditions for the release and return of all or part of the proceeds, and the Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to enter into such agreement on behalf of the city.
The repair, restoration or demolition required by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be completed in compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement prior to the release or return of any part of the insurance proceeds; provided, however, that the Code Enforcement Officer may, upon the written request of the insured and in his sole discretion, approve a prior release of such proceeds or a portion thereof in a lump sum or installments, where the insured certifies and demonstrates that such release is required to permit such repair, restoration or demolition to go forward. Any such insurance proceeds released or returned prior to the completion of the repair, restoration or demolition required by the Code Enforcement Officer may be paid directly to the contractor or contractors responsible for making such repair, restoration or demolition. Such payment shall, to the extent thereof, release the Code Enforcement Officer from further liability to the insured.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer releases the entire amount of the proceeds prior to compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement, the insured shall post a bond in an amount sufficient to assume the restoration, improvement or demolition of the property.
If the insured fails to notify the city of his or its intention to repair, restore or demolish the affected premises as required in § 143-5 of this chapter or fails to file a completed application pursuant to this chapter or fails to enter an agreement with the Code Enforcement Officer or comply therewith within the time set forth, the right of the insured to assert a claim against the insurance proceeds, except to the extent they exceed the amount of the lien, shall terminate.
There shall be established in the office of the City Controller a fund for the deposit of fire insurance proceeds to be held and applied in accordance with this chapter. Such funds shall not be held together with the general tax levies in the general fund.
Until such termination, any insurance proceeds received by the city shall be deposited in a special fund and shall be retained therein. Upon termination of the insured's right to claim against the proceeds, the proceeds and any interest accrued thereon shall be applied to the liens affecting the premises in such a manner to be determined by the Code Enforcement Officer and may be transferred to the general fund.
The lien or liens against the affected premises upon which the special lien against proceeds is based shall continue in full force and effect, except as to the extent that such lien or liens are or have been paid.
Any agreement entered into by the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to this chapter shall be for the purpose of preserving and evidencing the right of release of the special lien created by this chapter and shall be subject solely to the provisions.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall be empowered to promulgate rules and regulations and to adopt approved forms to be used by applicants.