SENECA FALLS — The sale of the former Village Hall to a local businessman may be in jeopardy, the Town Board learned Tuesday.
Town Attorney David Foster, while giving his monthly report, said George Tilton, owner of 5Star Medical, has told Foster he may not be able to complete the sale.
“He said business has been slow and his business plan is changing,” Foster relayed. “The funding to buy the property may not be there.”
According to Foster, Tilton requested June 27 as the date to complete the sale. If not, Foster said the town will put the 60 State St. property back on the market.
In September 2016, the board voted to accept Tilton’s $90,000 bid for the property. He planned to convert it to the new home of his 5Star Medical outfit that currently is set up across the street. His bid was the only one received for the property, a converted railroad station.
5Star Medical manufactures disposable, single-use electronic surgical pencil devices.
Tilton said he could employ up to 50 people once his operations are up and running, and noted he would seek county Industrial Development Agency assistance.
Foster said the sale of the former Town Hall and Seneca Falls Hospital Medical Arts Building at 10 Fall St. has not been completed either. The town accepted a $75,000 offer from Longley-Jones Management of Syracuse in November 2016. The company also planned to buy the adjacent parcel, site of the former Seneca Falls Hospital, and combine the two properties into a new apartment complex overlooking VanCleef Lake.
“I have not heard back from them,” Foster said of Longley-Jones. “(5Star and Longley-Jones) have put down $1,000 down payments, which are in escrow. I feel a need to tell them that time is of the essence to conclude this. Next week, I will tell them they have until the July board meeting to close or forfeit their deposits and we will put the properties back up for sale.”
In other matters Tuesday:
• Parks & Recreation Director Jim Spina presented the David Baker Volunteer of the Year Award to Steve Sandroni for his dedication to the town’s youth lacrosse program.
“It was an easy choice this year,” Spina said. “When Jerry Galusha died, we lost the guy who ran the lacrosse program for years. Steve immediately stepped up and took over.”
Sandroni received a plaque and clock to go along with an ovation from the board and those in attendance.
• Kyle Black, district manager at Seneca Meadows Landfill, updated the board on construction work that’s underway as well as projects planned for the spring and summer. A new cell is being built in the northwest corner; new wells are being installed; capping continues; seeding is ongoing; and a new leachate tank is being installed.
Black also showed a chart indicating a decline in odor complaints from a year ago.
• Christopher Lytle asked what the town was doing with the roughly $3 million it received from Seneca Meadows for 2017. Lytle said that money should be placed in a separate fund and not in the general fund. He asked if the town budget has been amended to reflect the new revenue, who has authority over the money, and if it was being used to pay increased legal fees.
Supervisor Greg Lazzaro said an accounting report will be made at the July meeting.
“I look forward to a tax reduction next year,” Lytle said.
• Jim Sandlas praised the town police department, the highway department, the water and sewer staff, and the recreation staff for their work.
However, he raised four financial issues.
He noted that in 2017, the town had an information technology company doing network administration for $35,000 a year. Since then, it has hired a full-time administrator for $54,461.
Sandlas questioned a large increase in switching from Patrick Morrell to David Foster to provide legal services for the town, along with an increase in outside counsel fees.
He suggested the town save money by exploring the possibility of hiring a civil engineer in lieu of Barton & Loguidice.
Additionally, Sandlas also wondered where the Seneca Meadows revenue was going.
• Jean Gilroy was armed with nine questions for the board to consider. Among them was the lawsuit Seneca Meadows filed against the town over a local law the board adopted stipulating the landfill close no later than Dec. 31, 2025. She said the town should either defend and win the lawsuit, or the landfill should drop it.
Gilroy asked if all board members are invited to negotiations to settle the lawsuit out of court.