March 5, 2004

Annexation, golf course in Dryden Courier

I wish the Dryden Courier was more readily available. Its sister publication, the Ithaca Times, is widely available, both for free in the Ithaca area (extending out to at least the Route 13/366 overlap) and online, while the Dryden Courier is 75¢, and I haven't found it any closer to me than the Village of Dryden.

This week's issue has excellent articles on two issues I haven't been able to find much about: the proposed annexation of a 21-acre lot by the Village of Dryden from the Town of Dryden, and the Town Board's consideration of purchasing the Lakeview Golf Course on Dryden Lake.

According to Tony Hall's "Annexation Debate Continues", the Town Board is split on whether or not to permit annexation (which the Village appears to favor). Councilmen Hattery and Stelick support annexation, while Councilmen Christofferson and Michaels, along with (non-voting) Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins, oppose it. Supervisor Steve Trumbull appears to hold the deciding vote in the matter.

Parcel 38.-1-30.12
The parcel being considered for annexation by the Village of Dryden.

There are lots and lots of issues around this annexation, but the largest ones appear to revolve around sewer and water, services the Village provides to the Town but with issues about volume and a moratorium on new hookups, along with the intended use of the area as a New York Department of Transportation facility. The DOT facility would make the land tax-exempt, at least on the portions used by the DOT, and there are concerns from the town that both the nearby schools would be affected (by traffic) and that the messiness of the operation ("a chilling aesthetic effect") would not add to the area's appeal.

On the golf course, I'd wondered what the Town Board was up to, voting themselves a negative SEQR declaration in executive session. According to the Courier, their intentions are honorable, seeking to take advantage of a "once in a lifetime opportunity." By buying the sixty acres, the town would both have a huge opportunity to create new recreation opportunities and keep the parcel out of the hands of commercial developers. The Courier quotes Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull:

"I'm worried that someone's going to buy it for development. If that occurs, there goes the golf course and there goes the last view of the lake," Trumbull said.
"We wanted to save it as open space. We didn't want it to go into development," he added.

The board approved an appraisal of "a certain piece of real property" at the December 10, 2003 meeting, and this appears to be the continuation of that. According to the article, the town offered $350,000, but the owner wants $850,000, and the property is assessed at $550,000. Two other offers for the property were both less than the town's offer.

If you have a chance, pick up the Dryden Courier for more details.

Posted by simon at March 5, 2004 5:34 PM in , , , , ,
Note on photos