Mr. Marx reported that due to the discovery of a larger than anticipated wetlands area, Better Housing of Tompkins County and their partner NRP chose not to proceed with the project. As part of the initial project the County had determined the land was no longer needed for public use. As a result of the changed circumstances, Mr. Marx said the County now has to reconsider what to do with this land. Mr. Marx has spoken to the Town of Ithaca and at their last Board meeting a decision was made that they were not interested in the property at this time. Another possibility was a smaller-scale development project that could be built outside of the wetland area and be used for home ownership versus rental, for nearby employees such as those working at Cayuga Medical Center or as a senior/aging housing. It was believed the smaller build and/or the proximity to surrounding businesses would not require commuting.
Mr. Marx stressed that the County has not been doing any work on site since the decisions to drop the initial proposal. He has spoken to Cayuga Medical Center to determine if they have anything to suggest as well. If none of the potential recommendations are viable the other option would be to sell the property.
Ms. Kiefer asked Mr. Marx if consideration has been given to sending out another Request for Proposals. Mr. Marx said he does not recommend it at this time and would like to explore further what interest there may be. He will continue to speak to parties in the community about what might be possible and after considering all options would determine how to proceed.
Mr. Klein informed Mr. Marx that earlier in the meeting there were four public speakers providing input and ideas regarding the property. Mr. Marx said he is open to other ideas and public opinion.