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Watkins Glen will again seek proposals for waterfront area ADVERTISEMENT

Watkins Glen will again seek proposals for waterfront area

WATKINS GLEN--After receiving no official interest during a previous Request For Proposals for the land where the previous wastewater treatment plant is located, the Watkins Glen village board voted to send out a new RFP during the Tuesday, Jan. 5 meeting. Mayor Luke Leszyk said the new RFP will be more generalized to allow developers more room to imagine how they could use the land.
"Ultimately what we get for interest we still have to approve the project," Leszyk said. "We are just trying to get interest in it so it doesn't just sit vacant and generate no income."
Leszyk added any development of the land would include developers leasing the land from the village.
While the advertisement and administration of the RFP will be done by the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, SCOPED Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry said they would have no official role in choosing what project would be accepted by the village.
"I would still hope you might listen to us as it relates to what would be a good or bad project," Cherry said.
As it stands, the current structures that still remain at the site of the old wastewater treatment plant are scheduled to be demolished towards the end of February with the metal structures scheduled to be removed at a later date. While there was some discussion as to whether the board should wait until after demolition has been completed, the board decided sooner was better.
The board also voted to include information regarding available funding that remains in the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative earmarked for Watkins Glen.
"(The money) will not be there forever, if we don't use it the money will go back and someone else will," Leszyk said.
Board member Laurie DeNardo, who has played a large role overseeing the DRI process, said while deadlines are tight there is still enough time for local businesses to apply for state money.
"This is important, this money is given to businesses by the state to help improve facades," DeNardo said. "This is in our best interest to get this money out to our businesses."
Along with authorizing information to be sent out with the next utility bills, DeNardo said information regarding DRI funding is also available on the village website and social media accounts.
"We want to see people use this," DeNardo said.
The board voted to hire a new part-time officer for the village police department at $18.00 an hour. While the position is currently listed as part-time, it was stated that should the new officer acclimate well to his new position and the area he could eventually become a full-time officer.

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