The village board’s recent action to get appraisals on three defunct Albany Street properties in hopes of beginning a process of their redevelopment was a great move, and one that we applaud. While Barbara Colligan said she is currently working to fix up and reopen her auto repair shop on the corner of Albany and Farnham streets, a representative from Widewaters would only give vague words about having to fix “issues” before its two derelict properties — the old Napa and gas station at 99 and 103 Albany St. — could be redeveloped. The fact that these two properties have been sitting unused and deteriorating for over a decade is, quite frankly, ridiculous. We know of multiple business owners who have looked into leasing one or both of those buildings in recent years only to be turned off for one reason or another. Why is it taking so long to improve those properties? Does Widewaters have any intention of even trying? We wonder. When Mayor Kurt Wheeler recently said all options on are the table to spur redevelopment of those properties, we hope he includes in that intention the option of eminent domain. The two Widewaters properties are in the very heart of our village; something must be done to get their derelict scar off Albany Street. If the property owner won’t do it, maybe it’s time the village stepped in and forced their hand.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.