Public hearing cancelled, rescheduled for March 22nd on controversial issue in Seneca Falls

Town Supervisor Greg Lazzaro says the intent was not to confuse taxpayers, or be anything less-than 100 percent transparent.

The controversial eminent domain public hearing scheduled for March 6th has been rescheduled. This after Lazzaro says proper notice was not printed in the Town’s official newspaper on time highlighting the legally necessary information.

The meeting and public hearing was slated to center on a controversial sewer line, which if approved by the Town Board, would be run beneath the Ludovico Sculpture Trail in Seneca Falls.

The necessity of the line, according to the Town’s engineering Firm Barton & Loguidice — is to correct for aging infrastructure and increased waste coming from the north of town. As Seneca Falls continues being the destination for wastewater lines from del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, Seneca Meadows, and multiple other users up-and-down the State Route 414, and 318 corridors — improvements are needed to accommodate the flow.

That’s why engineers are proposing a new, third line, which will run down along the canal — instead of updating or upgrading two other lines, which run down Fall and Bayard streets.

At the January meeting of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors Lazzaro said that the decision was the only sensible one, given the cost and effort attached to running a new sewer line down Fall or Bayard Street.

Opponents say those lines will eventually need to be replaced themselves, if they don’t already — so waiting to replace it, and creating a third line in the process — isn’t sensible.

How did the meeting get rescheduled from March 6th to the 22nd?

Admittedly, Supervisor Lazzaro said things got complicated by a vendor dispute that has resulted in the Town Courtroom having a significantly reduced maximum occupancy.

That news broke little more than a week ago, despite the problem existing for more than two months — when Supervisor Lazzaro contacted local media about the vendor dispute. He said then that a former-vendor was holding a computer hostage, which had codes necessary to make a series of doors at the Seneca Falls Municipal Building operational.

As result of this dispute, the doors have been left useless since they require the codes to function.

When the Fire Marshal reduced the total capacity of the building and Town Courtroom, Supervisor Lazzaro began speaking with legal counsel about possible solutions, which included holding the public hearing at the Seneca Falls Community Center.

However, due to timeline concerns regarding ‘public notice’ in the Town’s official newspapers — Lazzaro said that moving the location of the session outright wouldn’t be possible. He said before the cancellation that moving the session during a brief recess — from the Municipal Building at 130 Ovid Street — to the Seneca Falls Community Center would be the best way forward if the crowd appeared ‘too large’ to be accommodated with the newly-reduced capacity of 49 in the courtroom.

None of that was ultimately necessary as Lazzaro announced on Monday that the session would not take place on March 6th at all. Instead, it would take place on March 22nd at the Seneca Falls Community Center.

FingerLakes1.com will have all of the specifics in an upcoming article highlighting the ‘official’ public notice for the new session.

Also on FingerLakes1.com