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Wed., Sep. 2
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Preliminary plans for Massena Rose Hill subdivision approved


MASSENA - Rose Hill Foundation is one step closer toward selling some of its land and using the proceeds to construct athletic fields.

Foundation officials announced plans for a new baseball diamond and soccer field for its patients several months ago. The adolescent drug and alcohol treatment center is situated on 200 acres of land at the northwestern corner of the village, and the foundation planned to subdivide nine parcels near the front of the property on County Route 43 to pay for the athletic fields.

The village planning board voted 5-1 Wednesday, with Brian Schafer dissenting, to give preliminary site plan approval for the subdivision. The foundation also needs the approval of the village Board of Trustees and the state Department of Health before it can move forward.

Village code requires lots within 100 feet of sewer and water lines to hook into that infrastructure. But having to install water and sewer hookups would be cost-prohibitive and eliminate any profits Rose Hill would gain by selling the lots, Treasurer M. John Davis said. The village Board of Trustees must approve a waiver from that requirement in order for the development to proceed, foundation officials said.

Mr. Davis said the DOH has indicated it would support the project if it receives the approval of the village board, which had tabled the project at a previous meeting. Rose Hill is ready to move forward with the project if and when the village board grants the waiver, Mr. Davis said.

“I assume we will put a for sale sign on them just as soon as we can,” Mr. Davis said.

Mayor James F. Hidy said the village board must once again review the project’s circumstances before granting the project’s approval. He said he wanted to make sure the village wouldn’t lose out on any revenue when it “needs it the most.”

“It’d have to be the consensus of the board,” he said.

But the sale of the lots and the return of that land to the tax rolls could generate $45,000 in revenue, Rose Hill officials said. Of that $45,000, $13,000 would go to the village and the rest would be split between the town, county and school district. Mr. Davis said he based his projections from a conversation with Treasurer Daniel E. Case.

“We think this is a win-win situation,” Mr. Davis said. “Worst-case scenario, we get nothing and nobody gets anything.”

Mr. Schafer dissented because he believed more research needed to be completed. He wanted to make sure any septic system constructed or storm water wouldn’t leach out onto surrounding properties.

“This has got too many loose ends,” Mr. Schafer said. “That’s all there is to it.”

A lively discussion then took place between Mr. Schafer and Mr. Davis, who said Rose Hill had completed the necessary studies. The foundation had already spent nearly $15,000 on engineering fees to address those very concerns, he said.

“We did what you asked us to do. We’re not going to spend another $15,000,” he said.

“There’s not enough data to approve this,” Mr. Schafer said.

Mr. Davis wondered where Mr. Schafer’s concerns were.

“My concern is for the 30 kids that we’re trying to help,” Mr. Davis said.

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