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Waddington board keeps Leishman Point assessment private

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WADDINGTON — The Town Council won’t release the appraisal on 27 acres of property on Leishman Point to address a potential buyer’s commitment toward the town’s economic development.

The land, which has been on and off the market for more than 10 years, is being appraised for interested buyer James Ma of China.

“So far we are only in talks at this point,” said Town Supervisor Mark Scott. “We haven’t given away our appraisal.”

While Mr. Scott said Mr. Ma has expressed an interest in working with the town toward economic development, residents and council members are seeking reassurance from Mr. Ma.

“It’s my recommendation that we talk this over with the Planning Board to see if there are any deed restrictions we can impose,” said Councilman David Putney. “We need to make sure the land is developed in accordance with our town’s Economic Strategic Plan.”

Mr. Ma said on Wednesday he is interested in buying property, but discussions regarding his intentions are premature.

“Right now I’m only gathering information and reporting back to my investors,” he said.

While Mr. Scott agreed with the council’s decision, he was also concerned if the action would delay the property’s sale should the council decide to move forward with Mr. Ma.

“We’ve been looking into alternatives for this property for over 10 years now without any serious inquiries,” he said. “This is someone who wants to invest in this area. This is an opportunity we cannot let pass.”

Mr. Ma expressed caution.

“It’s too early to discuss this at this point,” he said.

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