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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Diagostino: Work at Trautman house would be a waste of time


MASSENA - The town of Massena has received a letter from its insurance company threatening to drop the policy it holds on a vacant home that has been identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as being in a “runway protection zone.”

Highway Superintendent Frank Diagostino, who also manages the airport, said he considers any work done at the 367 North Raquette River Road home as waste of time and money.

“I don’t agree with it,” he told town board members at this week’s meeting. “Nobody lives there or even goes there.”

Among the work suggested by the insurance company was the clearing of snow and ice from the property’s driveway and sidewalks, as well as the installation of a new hand railing on a deck connected to the home.

The home has actually been in the runway protection zone since it was built 28 years ago, however, the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t notice the obstruction until a study completed several years ago.

The FAA prohibits buildings within such zones in order to create a buffer zone for planes flying in and out of the airport.

The home remained occupied by Stephen M. Trautman and his family until the town purchased the property in 2012, using $240,000 in FAA grant funds.

The fate of the house on the property generated considerable discussion at the town board meeting.

“We need to decide if we’re going to get rid of it,” Mr. Diagostino said.

Deputy Supervisor Albert N. Nicola, who ran this week’s town board meeting in the absence of Mr. Gray, said that the board has tried to sell the home on multiple occasions, but has been unable to do so.

“We’ve tried to sell it two or three times,” he said.

Mr. Diagostino said selling the home is going to be tough, because no one could live in it.

“It’s an obstruction to the airport. As long as it’s an obstruction, no one will be living in it,” he said, adding that someone though could purchase the home for its doors, windows, cabinets and other fixtures.

“I’ve been busy plowing roads,” Mr. Diagostino said, adding the accumulation of snow and ice on the property would make cleaning up the property, at this time, quite difficult, but that doesn’t change the fact he believes it’s unnecessary to begin with.

“In my opinion, it’s a waste of time,” he said.

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