WATERLOO — Faced with the loss of a major tenant, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors recently discussed the March 2020 departure of Hillside Children’s Center from the former Seneca Army Depot.

Hillside officials announced March 20 that they were not going to renew the 15-year lease with the IDA for buildings that house Hillside’s residential treatment program for children placed there by the courts for behavioral reasons.

The campus would be empty by the end of the year, but Hillside will honor its lease until it expires March 31, 2020.

Upon the recommendation of IDA Executive Director Bob Aronson, the board agreed to direct consulting engineers Fisher Associates of Rochester to do an evaluation of the facilities once all children have been moved to other locations and the campus is empty. Fisher officials will examine the 13 buildings used by Hillside for dormitories and programs.

“We need to do this to be able to market the property or if we intend to fence it off and mothball it,” Aronson said.

Hillside also is the major customer of Seneca County Sewer District No. 2 and its closure could impact plans for wastewater treatment facilities in the south end of the county.

In other action, the board voted 7-0 to approve a four-month extension of a purchase contract between the IDA and Finger Lakes Agronomics. The company wants to buy 10 acres in the IDA-owned Deer Run Industrial Park on Auburn Road in Seneca Falls.

The agreed upon sale price is $85,496. Owner James Siak wants to build new facilities to house his grain and fertilizer business, now on Route 318 in Tyre, taking advantage of a freight rail line that runs along the property.

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