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Village clerk: Eminent domain “off the table” within DRI pursuit

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On Thursday’s (Oct. 21) Happening in Homer segment:

Village clerk Dan Egnor eased concerns by some worried about losing their homes to future developments along Main Street.

In September, the Board of Trustees filed another application for funding under the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) program. They did the same in 2019, losing their initial bid.

The latest submission includes a preliminary sketch outlining a focus area that contains several pieces of property currently occupied by tenants:

This led to a petition signed by more than a dozen residents, urging against the use of eminent domain; the right of a government to expropriate private property for public use with payment of compensation.

“Our drawings are nothing more than a rough idea of what could be accomplished — if we even receive an award,” said Egnor. “At that point, community involvement will be key. There would be money available for those who want to develop, but eminent domain is absolutely off the table.”

During the interview, Egnor also discussed an application for county ARP funding towards a new outdoor sports complex.

A $450k request would help purchase a site known as Casey Fields, an 88-acre, two mile strip of land along the Tioghnioga River that ends near Yaman Park in Cortland.

The village plans to build four long soccer/lacrosse fields.

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