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Plans for abandoned Genesee St. properties

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

I read with interest the letter from Clara Clark regarding the two properties along Route 20 that several years ago used to be gas stations. She raises a good issue regarding the condition of these properties, and I thought it would be helpful to give a little background and a current status report.

Many, many years ago, these properties became entangled in a major lawsuit with the NYS Attorney General and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation over environmental conditions. After several years, the properties were effectively abandoned by their owners. As a neighbor, we became concerned. Also, we were asked by Bill Pavlus, who was the town supervisor at the time, to try and help the town and the village deal with these properties. It turned out that the litigation was a complicated and contentious matter. After many years of effort, we were able to gain control of the old BP station property. Immediately upon gaining legal control, we worked in concert with the NYSDEC and the town to complete a total environmental clean-up of the property. We also found out that the political and zoning boundary between the town and village runs directly through this very small parcel. The town side is zoned highway commercial and the village side is zoned residential. We presented a plan for development of the property to both the town and the village. Ultimately, the village requested that the portion of the property that is in the town be brought into the village, since the parcel is too small for its own septic system. It was decided to not proceed further until the status of the adjacent Mobil Station property was resolved.

Several years later, with help from the town and village, we were successful in brokering a settlement between the property owner and the NYS Attorney General, and we gained legal control of the Mobil station. Upon gaining control, we immediately undertook to complete the full environmental clean-up of the property. As a part of this process, we demolished the old Mobil station and parking lot and replaced it with a grass area. We hope, before the end of the year, to be able to present the town and village with a proposal that will allow these two properties to be brought back to productive use. With cooperation between the village and town and with the support of the greater-Skaneateles community, we hope to complete the long effort that was started by the community many years ago to bring Bill Pavlus's vision for this area into reality.

GARY DOWER

MANAGING DIRECTOR

MIRBEAU INN AND SPA

SKANEATELES

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