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Corporate Center May Soon Be a Reality

By John Emerson
MONTICELLO — June 30, 2000 -- Thompson Town planners gave their blessing to the first stage development of the Emerald Corporate Park Wednesday, approving the site plan for the first building and the initial subdivision of the property.
Planning Board Chairman Jim Lyttle said the approvals are conditional, predicated on the town and county working out an agreement over sewer service for the corporate center.
“I understand that they are working that out, and basically as soon as that’s done, they can go ahead,” he said. “The minor subdivision is no problem at all.”
One concern that has been confronting planning board members is the arrangement for sewer services to the center. The Town of Thompson’s Emerald Green Sewer District plant is situated across Route 17 from the corporate center’s location on Rock Hill Drive in Rock Hill. Earlier this year, county officials said they considered the rates within the sewer district too high to make it viable for the corporate center’s use. They had planned to build their own sewer treatment plant within the corporate park.
Earlier this week, town officials sent a proposed contract for sewer services to the county for review and approval. Neither side has formally approved the agreement yet.
Sullivan County Planning Commissioner Alan Sorenson, who has been spearheading the project, said the sewer decision would not cause any real delay now that the conditional approvals are in hand.
“I’m very excited about this,” he said yesterday. “Now that we have the approval, we can go out for bids on the first building, hire a contractor and do what we need to do. I’ve been working on it for two years, and it’s exciting to get to this point. Hopefully by September, we’ll be underway out there.”
The approval extends to the first building in the corporate center, a 5,000-square-foot structure that will house the county’s economic development agencies and serve as something of a model for the center.
Sorenson said that half the building would be rented to a private company which is interested in moving to the site.
The original plans did not anticipate that the county would receive rental income on the first building constructed.
“That’s a good thing,” Sorenson said of the prospective client. “We haven’t signed any contracts, so I can’t say who it is, but they have expressed their intentions to move in.”
Lyttle said conditional approvals are routinely granted by the Planning Board to save time and effort. The town’s building inspector, who issues the required permits, will only release the permits after he receives proof that all the approval’s conditions are met.

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