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Public Hearing on Future of Parker Schools Brings Concerns by Residents

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Before the Common Council meeting began last night, a public hearing was held on the future decision of the former Parker School in the City of Cortland. Multiple residents spoke to the mayor and council, voicing their concerns on the proposed project by Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS) to revitalize the building as apartments with a possible child care center.

There were over twenty residents of the City of Cortland in attendance regarding the public hearing on Parker School. The overall consensus on the former elementary school was that turning the building into low and moderate income housing would not have a positive impact on the neighborhood.

Residents voiced their concerns that the proposed project is a “done deal.” This was later rebuffed by Mayor Steve who said there is still another public hearing on the proposal and further reviews required if the project even goes through.

Still though, residents continued to express their concerns and anger, but also provided suggestions on what they believe Parker should become. One of the suggestions mentioned multiple times was to convert the school into City Hall.

A question also raised was on how much property tax would the formed LLC for the property pay to the city. It should be noted that the property has never paid any type of property tax while it was a school and any amount taxed would add to the city’s revenues.

Crime and safety of the neighborhood was an overall concern by residents who spoke. Later in the council meeting during discussion of the Parker School project, Councilmember Beckwith noted that the council could require the property to have a security system among other various requirements.

Another Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1st at 6pm at City Hall. Mayor Steve noted residents can still submit questions via the City of Cortland’s website under the spotlight link on the homepage at Cortland.org.

You can find our coverage of the informational session with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services below:

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services Presents Plans for Former Parker Elementary School – Residents Raise Concerns

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