Updated 05/06/2008 11:08 PM
Senior housing project underway in Hammondsport
STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. -- Construction began on Tuesday at the former library in Hammondsport. The building is being renovated into an affordable senior living residence for people 62 and older.
Legal disputes between the village of Hammondsport and the town of Urbana delayed the project for five years.
"We were originally invited by the village, the property is owned by the town. The town also was originally favorable to the project. The village at one point was not favorable to the project or seemed to be wavering. In fact we ended up in court with the village this year, but at this point both the village and the town are on board," said Dan Gallager, Arbor Development Executive Director.
The debate was sparked when the Hammondsport village board delayed acting on a request by the town of Urbana to rezone the property. Urbana town officials took action and got the project approved under the urban renewal law, which says the town could take the property and do what it wanted with it without the village board's approval.
"There's been conflict over projects that happened in the past, the town hall moving out of the village. That upset some people, but that's all over, we have to move forward and find common ground," said Urbana Town Supervisor, Gordon Lanphere.
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On Tuesday night, officials from both the Town of Urbana and the village of Hammondsport got together to work together and move towards the future and they're calling it a work in progress.
"We had no real specific agenda items. It's more of a session to find out what we can agree on and what our common goals can be," Lanphere said.
With the construction underway, Arbor Development hopes the worst is over.
"We've got the funding, all of the commitments, we've got the approvals to move forward. We're ready to get going and get the place built," Gallager said.