Waterfront development deal is coming next week
PENN YAN—Yates County and the village of Penn Yan will be coming to an official agreement on the former Penn Yan Marine site development next week. Mayor Bob Church said he expects the details to be agreed upon Thursday, Feb. 20 and there will be a special meeting held at some point next week to act on the deal. Church gave a brief presentation outlining the terms of the deal during the Penn Yan village board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18. The mayor said it would be a three-way deal between the village, the county and Keuka Development to prepare the site for future development.
"Barring something really weird happening, this is going to happen," Church said. "It is my true belief this is a great thing for the community."
Church said the 14.7 acre site was taken over by the county for non-payment in 2002 and has been off the tax roll since 2003. He said in order to have future development at the site, there needs to be a brownfield cleanup project, which will be handled by the developer.
The tentative agreement terms are as such:
• The County will give the property to the village with the understanding the village will complete the infrastructure.
• The village will agree to sell the property to Keuka Development.
• Keuka Development will clean up the property.
• Keuka Development will build 36 condominiums with a marina at the site.
"I can see if this takes off, I can see that whole area being developed with housing in the next 10 years or so," Church said
Church said there must be several infrastructure improvements in order for future development at the site. He said there needs to be the replacement of the current 60-year-old water line on Lake Street, improvement of sewer lines that are nearing capacity, improvements on Mace, Hicks and Monell Streets, and improvements to the Keuka Outlet Trail.
Church said the estimated cost of the infrastructure improvements will amount to $2.5 million. The mayor said the village has secured a grant/loan for $980,000 for the water, street and trail projects, along with a $1,235,000 no interest loan for the sewer project.
"If we don't do this now, that property will set there forever because we will never get financing at this level," Church said. "I am convinced after talking with the Department of Public Works director and engineer, regardless of what happens the water line needs to be replaced."
Church said the village will pay for the infrastructure with funds from the sale of the property along with revenue from the agreement with the county on the payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) of the two proposed hotels in the village. The mayor said the revenue from the occupancy tax agreement with the county and increased water and sewer rents on the two hotels and condominiums will also help pay for the infrastructure work.
The mayor said "the village can never ever be responsible to clean the property up." Audience member Bill Laffin questioned if the remediation work could be completed by the end of 2015 deadline, but County Planner Shawna Bonshak said she is "confident that will be done."
"I think there is a perception out there the whole property is crawling with contamination," County Administrator Sarah Purdy said. "That is not the case. There are large portions of it that are clean. [...] There are specific areas that are contaminated, not the whole 14.7 acres. It is quite doable."
Developer Chris Iversen said the cleanup project will allow for the construction of residential property at the former marine site.
"The public should be aware the standard of cleanup the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will permit the construction of residential property when it is all done," Iversen said.