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County approves marina contract extension   ADVERTISEMENT

County approves marina contract extension

WATKINS GLEN—The Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) approved a 15-year lease extension to operate the Seneca Harbor Marina in Watkins Glen. The new lease was approved last week, extending the current contract to expire in 2033 instead of 2018. This comes after the Schamel Brothers Contractors Inc. requested the extension in order to conduct a $150,000 dock replacement project at the marina.
While the act required no input from the Schuyler County Legislature, one legislator questioned the approval process during their meeting Monday, April 14. Legislator Van Harp said he believed there would be a public comment session in connection with the lease, asking how that session was eliminated.
Schuyler County Chairman Dennis Fagan said the state environmental quality review (SEQR) determination by the IDA’s legal council was a type two action that did not require a public comment period. Fagan said the IDA decided to proceed without any public comment, which they had the right to do.
Fagan said when looking at the lease in 2018, the county is looking at a minimum of $240,000 in revenue versus the current lease revenue of $17,500. He said the extension of the lease to 2033 will result in a total revenue of $1.5 million to $1.6 million. Fagan said if they ran out the current terms, the revenue would be about one-tenth of that amount.
“Clearly there is a financial benefit to the county in modifying the terms of the lease,” Fagan said.
Fagan said the only negative comments he received about the lease were from the owners of Frog Hollow Marina Ed and Theresa Woodland, and Nick Kelly. He said in his years on legislature, he has had more letters and emails on this subject in the affirmative in support of the current marina owners. Fagan said the users of the marina facility appear to be satisfied with the service provided by the Schamels.
In other business:
• The legislature approved a resolution setting a May 12 public hearing on legislative term limits. The proposed local law would limit the number of consecutive years sitting on the legislature to 12.
• A resolution was passed offering an alternative to the property tax freeze that would eliminate the cost of state mandated spending imposed on counties. “Clearly the [state] budget that was passed was a disappointment with the lack of mandate relief,” Fagan said. “[...] The state needs to take responsibility for their own programs. [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo’s property tax relief without meaningful mandate relief is a sham.”





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