Alex Putnam and Jeremy Gorelick came to the village trustees Monday, June 9 to ask, "What do we do next?"
Gorelick is the developer responsible for the renovation of the Seitz building on the corner of Jordan and Genessee Streets. He and Putnam have been seeking a reciprocal easement for use of the land behind the Seitz building around the fire lane.
They went to the village last year to obtain this easement and put up a $50,000 deposit in a deal struck with the village. The developers had to get all the signatures of the property owners (including the City of Syracuse, the Village of Skaneateles, Rick Diamond owner of the Old Stone Mill and others) or pursue legal action to obtain a prescriptive easement. If they failed to do so, the village would take the $50,000 and pursue the easement for them.
After a brief update on the building's progress from Gorelick, Putnam told the village they had obtained all the signatures, including the city of Syracuse except one, Rick Diamond of Diamond Development.
Putnam said he believed that Diamond's intent was to not sign the easement because he was upset with the village. Gorelick then added that when he had spoken with Diamond, Diamond implied that he would not cooperate until the village fulfilled their promise of burying the electrical lines in front of his property.
"I think he's using us to get something he wants from the village," Molly Lardeo, also part of the development team said.
John Hunt, DPW superintendent said that he had told Diamond the electrical lines would get buried eventually, but never gave him a timeline or implied it would be anytime soon. He said the soonest it would happen is 2010, if the budget allows.
Michael Byrne, village attorney recommended that Gorelick and Putnam pursue legal action to obtain the easement. He said that it would only take a few weeks to be heard in courts and that the fact that the land has been used as an easement for many years would make for a strong case.