ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In a poll taken by WalletHub and posted to the Hudson Valley Post, it listed Elmira as one of the worst places to live in New York State. 18 News took a ride around town with Mayor Dan Mandell where he showed us why he believes the poll is wrong.
Mandell started the ride off by talking about how Elmira is an affordable place to live. He stated that there are buildings that have recently been built, and buildings that continue to sprout up, that are income based housing.
“It’s market rate housing with commercial space that is pretty much filled right now,” said Mayor Mandell. “So that got us started as far as the revitalization of the city goes, that was the first part of it.”
He also took the time to note that a contractor came in and spent $20 million of his own money to build an apartment complex that houses more than 100 apartments.
“It’s a 20 million dollar building that this developer spent his own money on. He did not get any grant money or any assistance from anyone to build this. He saw the opportunity with LECOM here and built this. These were all boarded up houses that were demolished.” said Mayor Mandell.
Next, Mandell expanded on education in the area, stating that he believes the schools in the area are good. He also spoke on LECOM and its agreement with Elmira College, which allows them to use LECOM’s equipment and established that the students have higher preference if they are interested in attending LECOM.
He then spoke on the views of students in the area, stating, “I talked to a kid that was from Brooklyn, and he said ‘This is awesome. I’ve never been to a town like this. I love it. I love the pace.’ Another kid from Ithaca said the same thing, stating, ‘I like it here better than I like Ithaca. The pace here is a lot slower. It’s a nice city.”
In reference to crime in the area, Mandell spoke about how crime is inevitable in a city, it just depends on what type of crime it is. He elaborated, saying, that it is mostly targeted based crime, “Bad guys going after bad guys.”
Overall, Mayor Mandell seemed to give a positive review of the town, despite what the poll by WalletHub said.