Broome County May Buy Union, Maine Land for Future Development
Almost 300 acres of land in the town of Union and Maine could be used for a new industrial park.
The Broome County Industrial Development Agency is acquiring an option to purchase property along Airport Road and East Maine Road. The three parcels are about halfway between Route 17 and the Greater Binghamton Airport.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said there is a need for developable land. He told WNBF News "there is not a lot of land that is shovel-ready for businesses to come in" and develop new operations.
Garnar said businesses seeking to new locations sometimes are looking for large sites with access to utilities.
The IDA approved a measure that could result in spending nearly $1.5 million to acquire about 290 acres of land. According to online property records, the parcels are owned by Roseann Dellapenna of Johnson City.
The agency is prepared to pay $5,000 an acre for the land - more than three times the amount determined by an appraiser it hired.
IDA board member Richard Bucci expressed concern about the move to "toss that professional aside" and move forward with the substantially higher price.
Garnar said the industrial park that was developed in Kirkwood nearly four decades ago "is all filled up."
The county executive said discussions have started with town of Union and Maine officials about zoning changes and utility work that would be needed for future development projects.
Garnar said "the bottom line is that we need industrial park property to bring in more jobs."
The county executive said environmental work needs to be done on the land to assess its suitability for possible development.
The county likely would seek state grant money to help cover site preparation costs.
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