County rejects ICNA offer

The county legislature’s Government Operations Committee today (March 18, 2016) rejected an offer of intent from eight ICNA members to purchase the Indian Creek woods and wetlands to preserve them as a natural wildlife habitat.

The committee voted to instruct the county administrator to prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids from realtors to represent the county in the sale of the 25.5 acres of undeveloped land along Indian Creek. The committee’s motion included a stipulation that it would consider purchase offers from neighborhood groups or the Town of Ithaca until its next meeting on May 4, when it expects to accept a realtor’s bid.

Though the county has prepared a new assessment of the property, the committee did not release that information today. Committee Chair Dan Klein said the new assessed value will become public on May 1.

Today’s meeting was a disappointment for ICNA members, who had hoped county legislators would respond to our proposals to work together to preserve quality of life in West Hill neighborhoods. Member Linda Grace-Kobas addressed the committee in public session and cited the lack of conservation efforts on West Hill and the new pressures that will result from proposed new developments along the Rte. 96 corridor. There is a need to preserve wildlife habitat and corridors, and keep wetlands intact in order to cope with the effects of extreme climate change. She pointed out that any development on that land will require extension of infrastructure and increased need for services, outweighing any short-term income from the land sale.

The committee members voted unanimously on the motion. They are Dan Klein, chair; Will Burbank, vice chair, and members Dooley Kiefer, Rich John and Carol Chock.

We are planning a meeting for ICNA members in the near future. We will be in touch.

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