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Oot Developers 'out of time'

Several Fairways North residents, including David Campbell and Brad Tangorra, attended the June 12 Lysander town board meeting and expressed concern that Oot Brothers, Inc. had not completed several punch list items, a series of tasks that must be completed to satisfy a construction contract and receive the final payment. Some areas are still without the top course of asphalt.

Residents living in the development off of River Road also complained that the developers are well past due taking care of an untended property at the end of Greenleafe Drive where illegal dumping is common.

The town board passed a resolution allowing appropriate action to be taken to enforce the contract obligations. According to the board, the rule of thumb is that developers should begin completion of punch list items either three years after construction began or upon "substantial completion" of a neighborhood.

"They're out of time," said town supervisor Barry Bullis of the Oot Brothers' almost two-year lag time. He later conceded that "Oot is one of our better developers."

Since the meeting, Lysander town attorney David Twitchell and town engineer Ken Knutsen have been in communication with Thomas Oot, urging him to uphold his obligation. The town has been dealing with this issue for the last year and a half, during which time Oot promised numerous times to complete the paving, saying it would be done by last fall, then changing the deadline to this spring.

On June 24, Bullis said Oot recently gave his word that a contractor from Orchard Earth & Pipe will be in Fairways North next week to repair the cement gutters, patch the pavement binder, then apply the blacktop. He maintained that Oot has been cooperative in the past, citing an incident when he was asked to remove manhole covers being stored on an unoccupied lot, and did so promptly.

If Oot doesn't finish the development on his own, the town can, by a board resolution, cash in the developer's security check, freeing up funds to hire a contractor.

The town could also use the money to mobilize their own crew to finish paving. But Bullis said Oot "does not want that to happen," adding that this latest round of talks should finally spur the tardy developer to action.

Oot could not be reached for comment.

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