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Mon., Oct. 5
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Surveyor checking site of possible Dick’s Sporting Goods today


MASSENA - A surveyor will be checking out the back and side lots of the Massena Arena - site of a proposed Dick’s Sporting Good store - on Wednesday as part of an effort to remove them from the regulatory provisions of New York State Parks.

Mayor James F. Hidy told the Massena Joint Recreation Commission that they will have a survey and appraisal done together. The surveyor and village attorney are expected to be on-site at about 10:30 a.m.

“We’re getting it all done in one shot,” Mr. Hidy said.

Because the land is protected under New York State Parks, they would need special legislation to take it out from under the auspices of New York State Parks for another potential use such as Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“It’s deemed part of state parks and rec. If anything, we have to take it out of parks,” Mr. Hidy said, noting legislative sessions end June 1, making timing critical if any action is going to be taken soon. “We have to have this done immediately.”

He said that the sites to be surveyed include a field that currently hosts softball and soccer games and another side area that contains the Massena Arena annex.

“That’s not to say they’re both going to go,” Mr. Hidy said, stressing, “The arena is not coming down.”

Michael Wachs, owner of the Harte Haven Shopping Plaza, has said that he has been in contact with Dick’s Sporting Goods about siting a store on the field behind the Massena Arena. There is also the possibility that, if the store came, the area currently housing the annex would also need to be used as part of the development.

Village and town officials have shared their support for the proposal, although some community members at a recent village board budget session said the property should remain as is.

Joint Recreation Commission member George Hammill shared similar concerns Tuesday. But Chairman David M. MacLennan said the possible influx of money from the sale of the land would be a boost to the recreation department and could be used to build new fields at another location. Local officials have suggested the land, based on comparable sales, is valued at $800,000.

“Any proceeds of the sale of the property goes to the Recreation Commission,” Mr. Hidy said.

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