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Park land requirements, if applicable, shouldn’t delay potential Dick’s development

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MASSENA - Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray and Mayor James F. Hidy said they’re not expecting the possibility of the lot on the corner of state Routes 37 and 420 being park land to hold up the potential development of the property.

Mr. Hidy said the village’s attorney is currently researching whether the village will need special legislation from the state Legislation giving them permission to sell the land.

“I contacted Sen. Griffo’s (Sen. Joseph A. Griffo) office, and they directed me to the Region 7 Parks and Rec office,” Mr. Hidy said, adding he and the village’s attorney are still waiting to hear back from that department with a ruling.

“If we have to go through the legislative process, I would hope it comes up in the next session,” Mr. Hidy said. “Right now we are still in the process of connecting with the New York State Parks and Rec department, so it’s too early to tell whether that will be needed.”

Even if state legislation is needed, Mr. Gray said such legislation is routinely passed without problems.

“If we need to do it, it’s not that big of a process. We just need to get legislation to do it,” he said. “It’s special legislation, but they do it all the time.”

Mr. Gray added that roughly 10-12 years ago the village went through a similar process with a small piece of Springs Park that was sold to an adjacent landowner to “square off” their lot.

“The village has done this before, so there is precedent,” Mr. Gray said. “I don’t see how this will hold things up.”

Mr. Hidy said both the village and town have an appraiser in mind, and a firm is expected to be hired soon.

“Our attorney is working on this right now, and I think we have an appraiser who has worked with us before already in mind,” Mr. Hidy said. “We should have an appraiser on board by the end of the month.”

The village board meets twice, on May 6 and 20, while the town board will meet on May 21.

Michael Wachs, who owns the nearby Harte Haven Plaza, has expressed an interest to both boards in acquiring the land located at the corner of state Routes 37 and 420, with plans of putting a Dick’s Sporting Goods store on the site.

Mr. Wachs has volunteered to pay for the appraisal and has said he will be meeting with officials from the company later this spring.

The town’s assessor, citing comparable sales in the community, has estimated the appraisal will come back in he $800,000 range.

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