On the Agenda for the Batavia City Council meeting Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 7:30 pm, is the Washington-Wilson Redevelopment Agreement, and the purchase of 2 properties related to that project. One property is the Frydendall property, previously discussed, but the second is brand new, never revealed before the agenda was posted Friday afternoon. That property is the Larson-Becker property on N. River St.
The Larson-Becker property is actually a combination of 5 parcels, on both sides of River St., to be purchased by the City for $1.25 million. According to the documents, the parcels on the west side of River St. will be used for temporary parking during construction of the Washington-Wilson Redevelopment (Shodeen) project. There is no dollar amount given for the cost of demolishing the buildings on the site and creating 100+ parking spaces as the drawing indicates. The documents also leave open the possibility of future development of the property. Perhaps they will ultimately redevelop the property as outlined in this document from 2006.
The Larson-Becker property is in TIF 1, which currently is over-extended, with a loan from the general fund for $1,375,000 for the Houston St. project, that is to be paid back from the TIF increment over the next 4 yrs, plus interest. There is insufficient money in this TIF to cover the purchase of the Larson-Becker property, nor the development of it to follow. It is a strong possibility the City will have to issue bonds (backed by tax dollars) to cover the costs.
It is also unknown if there is any environmental contamination on the property, as it was the site of manufacturing going back many decades.
If you have any concerns about the Larson-Becker purchase, the Frydendall purchase, or the Redevelopment Agreement, the time to speak up is Tuesday night, 7:30pm, City Council.