Cortland County Legislature Considering Plan to Turn Surplus Land Over to Nature Center
Cortland County lawmakers are backing away from a proposal to sell a piece of property near the Lime Hollow Nature Center and may consider putting the Nature Center in charge of maintaining and overseeing the property.
Last month lawmakers on the County Highway Committee approved a resolution to declare the parcel which borders the Cortland Sand and Gravel Company as surplus property and put it up for sale.
The owners of the gravel company asked the county to declare the property as surplus and had expressed interest in purchasing the property.
The proposal caught the attention of the nature center as well as leaders in the Town of Cortlandville.
Lime Hollow Executive Director Glen Reisweber researched the property and found that it had been deemed to be environmentally significant as early as 1978 and was donated to the county by Gunzenhauser family in an effort to preserve the unique environmental features there.
The DEC considers the area environmentally significant as it is part of the Fall Creek Watershed and provides storm-water run-off storage.
County Lawmakers says they were unaware of the properties significance; in addition the owner of the Sand and Gravel Company has now withdrawn his offer to purchase the property.
Reisweber says he would like the county to enter into a long-term agreement with Lime Hollow to take over management of the parcel along with County’s Linear Nature trail that runs near the Nature Center and is currently managed by Lime Hollow.
County Chair Mike Park says he supports that proposal, he says he plans to ask the Legislature’s Budget and Planning Committees to look at the proposal and forward a recommendation to the full legislature.
Park says the legislature has been reviewing all unused county owned parcels to determine if the county has a use for the land, if not the property would be auctioned and put back on the tax rolls.