Three-way deal to be revealed

Gwen Chamberlain

When the Penn Yan Village board meets Feb. 18, Mayor Robert Church and other village officials might face an audience of residents interested in more information about potential agreements between the village, Yates County and developer Chrisanntha, owned by Chris Iversen.

Church has promised to provide information about the series of agreements that are or will soon be in place to make the long-awaited construction of residential units on property owned by Yates County.

The property was previously the site of Penn Yan Marine Manufacturing, the company that replaced Penn Yan Boats as a boat builder.

Village and County officials have already approved agreements that lay the foundation for the village to receive a share of occupancy tax revenues collected by Yates County. Village officials had argued that two new hotels being planned for Penn Yan will bring financial benefits to the county while creating a burden for the property taxpayers in the village who pay for upkeep of streets, police protection and other services.

The next series of agreements will lay out the conditions of the transactions that will result in the property being turned over from the county to the village and finally to the developer.

Some of the points that could come out in the meeting include:

• A timeframe for the brownfield clean-up and start of construction of housing units on the 14.7 acre property

• Details about how and why the property will be transferred from the county to the village and ultimately to the developer, and what protections will be in place for the village and county if the property's ownership reverts from the developer

• Details about financing the sale of the property and the project, including such infrastructure improvements as water, sewer, electric service, streets, sidewalks, storm drainage and a bridge and/or culvert at Kimball Creek.

Yates County has applied for a Brownfield Cleanup Program permit through the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Background

The property was used between 1929 and 2001 to manufacture small wooden and fiberglass boats. The site included a main manufacturing building of about 115,000 square feet and nine other buildings, some which have been demolished.

Yates County acquired the property through tax foreclosure in 1998. Penn Yan Marine Mfg. continued to operate there until 2001 when the county took possession.

Contaminants that were identified at the site include petroleum related compounds and solvents, PCBs and metals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) removed drummed chemical waste and other containers of chemicals between December 2003 and March 2004. Five aboveground and three underground tanks that contained petroleum, waste resins and solvents were also removed by the EPA contractor.

A committee with representation from the village, county, towns of Milo and Jerusalem, local planning boards, business interests and neighborhood residents has been meeting since 2007 to establish a plan for overall waterfront development.

Although one of the initial conceptual plans called for retail space to be included in development of the Penn Yan Marine Mfg. site, Chrisanntha's plans call for strictly residential space with a small marina area and extension of the Keuka Outlet Trail.