By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO December 10, 2002 For the last several months, the New York Power Authority (PASNY) facility located on Route 17B in the Town of Thompson has garnered a great deal of interest. Sullivan County would like that building so they could move their Harris Department of Public Works facility. After obtaining that site, the Harris facility would be sold to the Center for Discovery.
However, the Town of Thompson also has an interest in that building. They would like to move their DPW headquarters to that site on Route 17B. In fact, the town recently outbid the county for that property.
The subject was brought up at the Town of Thompson Board meeting on Tuesday, December 3. Supervisor Tony Cellini announced that he was told the county would get that property. Cellini and Town Attorney William Rosen, with approval of the board, announced they would take legal steps to block the sale.
Cellini and the board stressed that they do not blame the county or the Center for Discovery. They place the full blame on PASNY and have accused them of not dealing fairly with all involved.
The matter was brought up at the Sullivan County Legislatures DPW Committee meeting on Thursday, December 5. A resolution was introduced to purchase that property. The county would buy a portion of the Maplewood Station for $750,000. The resolution passed the committee, but it still has to be approved by the full board at their monthly meeting on Monday, December 23.
After the meeting, lawmakers commented on the situation.
This is not quid pro quo with the price, commented Legislature Chair Leni Binder. I am disappointed that [Cellini] makes statements [about pursuing the matter legally] at a meeting and not have the courtesy to call me. Others have done so when matters have come before us involving their towns.
The Harris Facility adjoins the Center for Discovery. They do outstanding work, remarked County Manager Dan Briggs. The economic landscape allows for the additional growth. It adds in economic development and job creation. It is a win-win situation.
The town will do what they have to do, added DPW Chair Rodney Gaebel.
I respect what the county and the center for discovery has done, stated Cellini. We were misled by PASNY officials. We have been talking with them since February. We met with them and walked through the property. We put in a bid, and it was the high bid. We will be having some serious discussions with PASNY.
This is not the town versus the county or the town versus the Center for Discovery, Cellini continued. If we were told up front that a deal was made with the state and the county, other considerations would have been made. We were never told about it.