LRA Hopes to Select Winning Bid for New York Depot Property Soon

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is nearing its selection of a buyer for 7,000 acres of undeveloped land at the former Seneca Army Depot in New York’s Finger Lakes District.A nine-member working group consisting of members of the IDA and the county Board of Supervisors is considering 16 bids covering a range of end uses that were submitted prior to a February deadline.“It’s getting closer,” Steve Brusso, chairman of the Depot Bid Review Workgroup, said last week before the panel began to meet in executive session. “If all goes well, we could have a decision in June.”Only one bidder’s identity has become public as the IDA has decided to deliberate behind closed doors. On Tuesday, the Fingers Lakes Times reported that its request for a list of bidders and bid amounts was denied by the agency.An IDA spokeswoman told the paper that revealing the names of the bidders could harm the integrity of the selection process.“For example, simply releasing the names of the bidders would give interested parties, particularly the other bidders, the ability to discern the relative viability of the bids and, as such, undermine the agency’s negotiating position,” Kelly Kline told the paper.The one publicly announced bid is a partnership between a conservation group and the town of Varick seeking to preserve the depot’s herd of rare white deer. That proposal calls for converting the property into an ecotourism center focused on wildlife conservation.The IDA decided to sell the remaining acreage at the depot, which was shuttered in 2000, now that the Army’s caretaker responsibilities are winding down. The agency does not have the resources to adequately keep and maintain the property, and wants to return it to the tax rolls to increase the county’s tax base and provide an economic asset to the region.last_img

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