GENEVA — City Council approved the sale of a 7.25-acre parcel of city-owned land off Routes 5&20 to the state last week after a parks official assured members there are no plans to develop the property.
At its Dec. 4 meeting Council agreed to sell the property at the northeast side of the entrance to Seneca Lake State Park for $181,400.
“We have been very interested in this property for decades,” said Fred Bonn, Finger Lakes regional director of the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
He reiterated the state has no interest in developing the parcel. The goal, he said, is to improve the park’s entrance and enhance the natural elements of the property, including a small wetland.
Three years ago, Council created an uproar when it approved the sale of the land to a developer that wanted to build seasonal rentals on it. The resolution approving the sale subsequently was rescinded because the city’s attorneys said it did not adequately spell out terms of the sale. On a second vote and with public opposition mounting, Council voted it down.
At the Wednesday meeting, Ward 3 Councilor and Mayor-Elect Steve Valentino asked whether a covenant could be added to the purchase offer to ensure it would not be developed. Bonn said that would “complicate the transaction.”
The appearance by the regional director did give Valentino a chance to ask Bonn if there was a plan to improve the multi-modal park trail that was once part of Routes 5&20. Valentino noted the road’s poor condition in some sections will “jar your teeth.”
Bonn responded that the state is looking to make improvements to the trail, as well as improving access to the city’s path from Lakefront Park to the state park.
Marina funding wrapped up
In other action, Council approved a bonding resolution for a number of infrastructure projects, including $750,000 for the new city marina. That completes the financing for the $3.7 million project, which calls for 79 boat slips.
In all, the city has received about $2.2 million in grants for the marina; it is borrowing an additional $1.5 million. Both bonds are being paid off over a 15-year period at an annual cost of $75,000 for each.
The existing marina will be removed and replaced by new floating docks, floating restrooms and marine utilities, including electric. Long Pier will be extended east as part of the project.
Ward 4 Councilor Ken Camera once again expressed opposition to the project because he does not see the need. However, he approved the bond resolution because it included several projects that he supports, including the rehabilitation of Lafayette Avenue in his ward. He called it “wrapping the virtuous around the controversial.”
Additionally, Council approved a resolution last week declaring that the marina project and construction will not have an adverse environmental impact under the state Environmental Quality Review Act.
Construction on the new marina is expected to start in 2020.