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Massena sells Old River Road property to neighbor

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MASSENA — The Town Council has agreed to sell 4 acres of riverfront property on Old River Road to neighborhood resident David F. Osier for $100,000.

Council members voted 3-1 to sell the property to Mr. Osier, the first person to make an offer on it.

Supervisor Joseph D. Gray voted against the sale, saying he wanted to wait until next month’s meeting for more offers to come in. He said news reports might generate more interest in the property.

Councilman Charles A. Raiti was absent from the meeting.

Councilman Albert N. Nicola pointed out the town has tried a number of approaches and has received only one offer.

Councilman Robert Cunningham said he felt the sale of the property was overdue and urged the council to move ahead on the offer. “This thing has been going around and around and around,” Mr. Cunningham said.

In December, the council voted to mount a two-week advertising campaign in local media outlets.

The parcel previously was owned by the New York Power Authority, which deeded it to the town as part of its 2003 relicensing agreement.

The Town Council voted unanimously in October to put the parcel out for bid. An appraisal last year set the value of the property at $330,000, and the town wanted to start the bidding at $200,000.

However, Mr. Gray said he’s not disappointed with the purchase price, and town officials welcomed the opportunity to put the property back on the tax rolls.

“It’s an offer for more than we had before,” Mr. Gray said.

Several homeowners on the south side of Old River Road were upset with the plan to sell the riverfront land separating their homes from the St. Lawrence River.

Edward J. Kaneb Jr., a property owner on the road, told the town board last fall that adjacent-property owners should be allowed to negotiate a deal for the land before the town put it out to bid.

“We have docks down there; we’ve mowed the grass,” Mr. Kaneb said in November. “It’d be fair to offer the land to the people who cared for it.”

Mr. Kaneb also said the $200,000 minimum bid sought was more than fair market value because the steep land would be difficult to develop.

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