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sewer2012_120Perhaps the best news at Wednesday's Lansing Sewer Committee meeting was that the Town is in negotiations with two developers to build roads and infrastructure for two senior housing projects proposed for the town center land across the street from the town ballfields.  Until this week committee members feared that the cost to build two main roads and their accompanying infrastructure would be prohibitive, putting the sewer project in jeopardy.

Representatives from NRP Group and Better Housing For Tompkins County met with Town officials this week to talk about, among other things, how parts of these the roads could be constructed by NRP Group and Calimar Developers.

"What this shows me is developers want to develop here, that's for sure," Miller said.

NRP Group will be flying a small group of town officials to Buffalo and Cleveland to see projects the two companies have completed.

The idea was that the cost would be recovered when the town sells the land.  But if the Town doesn't have to build roads its cost is less, so it can offer a better price on the acreage.  Talks now center on selling the land for less to developers who build portions of the roads.  The main road proposed for the Town Center will be an extension of Woodsedge Road, north of 34B (shown in blue below). 

That road will pass through a retail/professional building area to service residences and apartments before coming out in the north to property that is slated for a business and technology park.  The Town is negotiating with NRP Group to build the initial portion of the road and part of a road that runs east toward Auburn Road where it will eventually intersect.  

The rest of that road would also be built by NRP if a second proposed project is built to the east of the affordable senior housing they propose in the first phase.  Another portion of the road would be built by Calimar, a development company that is planning a three story market rate senior apartments building.  That would leave the responsibility for the business park portion of the road to the Town, but would remove the urgency for the Town to spend money on roads right away.  And it increases the chances of the two senior housing projects coming to fruition.

tcplan06_400In this scenario NRP Group would build the dark blue section of the road shown in this map, and later the light blue if they later develop the garden apartments. Calimar would build the green section, and the Town would build the black section or negotiate with a business developer to do so when the business and technology park to the north is developed

The cost of the land is being calculated to include the Town's cost in buying the land plus expenses incurred installing roads and infrastructure.  If developers construct the roads to town specifications they will dedicate the roades to the Town once they have been constructed and inspected.  This would reduce the Town's costs, reducing the amount it would have to charge for the land.  The developers, in turn, would get a better price on the acreage they need.  The roads will include sewer, water, street lights, electricity, and sidewalks, and will be joined by smaller roads that developers would be responsible for building in any event.

The committee also looked at annual cost per unit projections based on new information.  At this stage the committee can't guarantee that the annual fees won't be as high as $800, but if all the pieces fall into place they could be in the high $500 or low $600 range.  Those pieces include more units in the sewer district that can share the cost, and a $3 million grant the Town is applying for.  If awarded most of the grant would go to bringing down the sewer cost per unit with the rest going toward infrastructure.

The committee also received questions from Planning Board members Larry Sharpsteen and Al Fiorille.  They had solicited the questions to prepare for any questions they might be asked when they address the Planning Board on June 25th.  Committee members felt confident that they already have answers to many of the questions, and will have hard facts to support the others by the time of that meeting.

"These are very easily answered," said Lansing Engineering and Planning Coordinator Jeff Overstrom.  "We're pretty much on top of them."

CJ DelVecchio volunteered to design a PowerPoint presentation that will answer many of the questions and will be printed to provide a version of the information that can be distributed among the community.  Noel Desch also presented a new draft of a letter of support he hopes potential district residents will sign that the committee reviewed.

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