MASSENA - The village of Massena is seeking more information about a lease/purchase property request for land directly across from Baxters One Stop Automotive on East Orvis Street.
Massena Mayor James F. Hidy explained that he recently received a letter from the auto shops operator, Michael Baxter, asking that he be able to acquire the property.
He would install lighting, gravel and whatever is necessary to meet the zoning regulations, and he would maintain the property as well, he said. I asked (Assessor Michael Ward) to establish who owns the facility that Mr. Baxter works out of and its owned by Deborah Kearns, who owns the motel next door as well. Being that the gentleman doesnt own that facility - if his business were to for whatever reason close - again were left with that property across the street that had been paved, crush stoned or whatever.
Michael and Jessica Baxter have been doing automobile repairs at the location for over two years and in October, received approval to being selling used cars there.
Mr. Baxter said in the fall that they currently have a lease with an option and after five years they will decide whether to buy the property.
Mr. Hidy said that ownership of the land was not his only concern with the request. Id also heard rumbling that perhaps one day soap box derby would utilize that property as their track, he said.
Trustee Francis J. Carvel raised the issue of whether the property was designated as a village park.
I know they call it the East Orvis Street Park but I wonder if it has ever been designated as a park, he said. If its a park, we would have to have New York state approval in order to sell it I believe.
I dont have a problem with doing it, just come back with some more information, Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld said.
He quipped he didnt recall sunbathers frequenting the park located above the villages sewer plant. Mr. Carvel pointed out the village-owned property is located outside the village limits so any zoning or planning issues with the proposal would be referred to town officials,
Mr. Hidy agreed with Mr. Ahlfelds suggestion that the sale of the property seemed to make good sense but also reiterated his concerns about the future of the land, should Mr. Baxter go out of business.
I hope hes there forever and its a family business forever. The problem I see is that once this gentleman leaves or his business is no longer a business, then we have this across the street. Now what do we do with it? he asked. Whether its a park, whether its a soap box derby, I see where youre coming from. I absolutely agree.