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Waddington revisits land sales

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WADDINGTON — Town officials once again are revisiting the potential sale of surplus lands along River Road to adjacent landowners.

The Town Council passed a resolution Monday to gather estimates to complete a survey of nine properties along River Road.

The town is considering selling the property as separate lots, with some lots to be retained by the town. The number of lots will be determined by the survey, Councilor Robert J. Dalton said.

“It’s all got to be a compromise,” Mr. Dalton said. “We have to keep as many people happy as we can.”

The properties were among those returned to the town by the New York Power Authority during the relicensing settlement agreement.

Town board members initially drafted a resolution that would allow Waddington to sell the 169 acres to adjacent landowners last year.

However, the resolution was rescinded in December, following advice from town attorney Benjamin G. Johns, who said the resolution did not conform to Town Law Section 90, which relates to public notice.

The adjacent landowners “came to us a year ago wanting to purchase the land; that’s what got us started moving forward with this,” Mr. Dalton said. “There were some issues raised and so we backed off on it. Then they came to a couple of us again.”

Town Supervisor Mark Scott said the town board could force a public referendum regarding the sale of the River Road properties, which would effectively re-enact the resolution, or hold a public auction.

The properties were claimed via eminent domain by the Power Authority during the expansion of St. Lawrence Seaway. The town has been focused on finding ways to develop the former NYPA lands since it put together a community plan in 2010.

The Town Council will meet Sept. 9.

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