SHERIDAN - A California businessman would like to construct a corporate retreat center locally.
At the August meeting of the Sheridan Town Council, Supervisor Lou Delmonte read a letter from Cody Becker of Becker Technologies, LLC, of California, to buy the 100-acre town property located on Miller Road between South Roberts and Stone Quarry roads. The offer includes allowing the town to retain the natural gas leases for the wells present on the property. It is Becker's intention to build a corporate retreat at the location.
Town Superintendent Lou Delmonte said Becker had previously asked to purchase the property, but did not make a provision for the gas wells to be retained by the town in the previous offer.
In the letter, Becker stated his wife is from the Sheridan area. Becker Technologies is described as "An information technology firm for the small and medium business market" on its website, which also notes the company is not accepting new clients at this time.
Passafaro told the board making a sale, if the board decides it is in the town's interest to do so, requires many steps.
"There is a process, like anything else," he said, and explained the town would have to first declare the property is not necessary to the municipality.
Next, a fair market appraisal would have to be professionally obtained. At that point, if the board decided it was in the best interest of the town to sell the property, a resolution, if passed by two-thirds of the board, to sell the property would be subject to permissive referendum.
Permissive referendum in New York state is a method for the public to vote on a matter in lieu of their elected officials, but a person or persons in the municipality must petition to do so.
The petition must be signed by a minimum of 10 percent of the turn out of the electorate in the most recent gubernatorial election. A municipality has 30 days from which the law was signed to file the petition.
If no petition is filed within 30 days of the resolution being passed, the property would then likely be placed for public bidding. Becker would need to file a bid, along with anyone else interested in the land. It was noted by Passafaro a resident on neighboring property has expressed interest in at least part of the parcel.
No board members discussed any desire to sell or keep the property, so it is unclear if the property will be formally considered for sale. Councilwoman Colleen Yerico was not in attendance.
The next Sheridan town board meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, immediately following a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. regarding a resolution by the board to override the state 2 percent tax cap.
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