NYPA and Village of Lewiston Agree to Return Public Land to Tax Roll

Connie Cullen

December 17, 2003


ALBANY—The Trustees of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) have approved the release of its interest on a parcel of land owned by the Village of Lewiston to encourage a series of private and public land initiatives to benefit the Village economy.  This action took place at a meeting of the Trustees on Tuesday.

Once part of NYPA’s Niagara Power Project lands, this parcel was transferred to the Village of Lewiston in 1979 with a deed provision requiring any property revert to the Power Authority if the Village did not use it for public purposes.  While a 1.9 acre portion of the 3.2 acre parcel was developed for public use, as the Lewiston Public Library, the Village is now seeking private residential development on the balance.  The sale of this parcel will help generate revenue to construct a new public works facility proposed for another area of the Village.  The Village will then reclaim the current public works site, on prime Niagara River shoreline, for public use such as recreation.

“This is an innovative opportunity for formerly public land to serve the Village of Lewiston in a new way—producing new tax revenue, new municipal funds and more open space for recreation,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, chairman, New York Power Authority.

“The cooperation and responsiveness we received from the New York Power Authority shows they are good neighbors and committed to the Village’s success.  They immediately shared our vision for the progressive use of these private and public Village lands,” said Richard Soluri, mayor, Village of Lewiston.  “We are grateful to Power Authority chairman Ciminelli for his support and encouragement throughout this process.”

The removal of the deed provision allows the Village to proceed with its plans to sell the remaining property in the parcel to a private developer.  This will generate revenue to help finance a new public works facility on a one-acre site in a light industrial area of the Village.  It will also generate future tax revenue from the new homeowners of the townhouses envisioned for the site.  In addition, the Niagara River shoreline site, where the current public works building is located, will become available for public use such as recreation, tourist activities and family events.

The Trustees also released any remaining rights in the parcel, where the Library was constructed, with the condition that any revenue generated from a sale of any portion of that parcel be used for public purposes.