MASSENA — Village trustees have authorized the cancellation and release of a contract with St. Lawrence Soyway Company, LLC, the company that had intended to purchase the former Department of Public Works site at 536-540 South Main St.
St. Lawrence Soyway had entered into an agreement with village officials on Nov. 16, 2016 for the purchase of the property. However, they eventually opted for another site in the town of Massena, and the purchase agreement between the company and the village expired and was not re-signed. The site remains up for sale.
The resolution passed by trustees on Tuesday authorizes Mayor Timmy J. Currier to “execute the cancellation and release of contract (all parties) and all other necessary documents to cancel the sale of the aforementioned properties.”
Under those terms, the agreement would say the company walked away from the deal and “we’re free to do whatever we want with that property without them coming back and saying there was some misunderstanding. It clarifies the contract agreement,” Mr. Currier said.
Village officials put the site up for sale after opting to move Department of Public Works materials to the DPW’s Robinson Road site. They received authorization to redesignate a portion of Greenbelt Preservation District land near the DPW, allowing them to move the materials there. The parcel sits behind the Bushnell sports fields.
Because the land where they planned to store the materials is designated as a Greenbelt Preservation District, special legislation was needed to redesignate that site as Commercial Transition District. Resolutions were introduced by former Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne in the Assembly and Sen. Joseph A. Griffo in the Senate, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the legislation on Sept. 7, 2018.
The area encompasses 15.4 acres, but trustees had agreed to convert an additional 23.8 acres to the Greenbelt Preservation District to form a buffer between the storage area and homes on Urban Drive, where residents had shared their concerns about the storage plan.
Urban Drive resident Tom Seguin, one of the residents who had shared concerns about the plan, was at Tuesday’s meeting to give what he said were his final thoughts about it.
“This will be the last statement I’ll make on this, just so you gentlemen know. In short, I would like to say it was always the intention of some people on this board and the superintendent (DPW Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad) to move the operations to the Robinson Road facility no matter what. There were prints from the beginning of what you wanted done with that area,” he said.
Mr. Seguin said he appreciated the board giving residents an opportunity to share their concerns.
“But at the end of the day you did exactly what was planned from day one,” he said. “I just feel this had to be said on behalf of those who will be affected by this now and in the future. I just felt that I wanted to close this chapter, and unfortunately we don’t like the way it turned out. I understand where you gentlemen were coming from. It’s a sad situation all around. I’m not criticizing anybody on the board. You all listened to our concerns. You listened to us, and I appreciate you doing that.”