City eyes sale of old industrial site

GLOVERSVILLE – The city may try to sell the land where the former Independent Leather facility was previously located on South Main and Hill streets, officials said at the Common Council meeting Tuesday.

Independent Leather shut down in the early 1990s after nearly a century of operation. Four buildings were demolished at the site, the last going down in 2005. Hazardous chemicals left over from the tanning operation were removed from the site.

Since that time, the city Department of Public Works has been maintaining the land by doing routine lawn care and other maintenance.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth asked DPW Director Kevin Jones if the property is cleared to be developed yet.

“What are we doing with this property?” she asked.

Jones said the site has been cleared and is ready for development – if the city wants to go in that direction.

However, he said the site management plan does have restrictions on what the property can be used for.

“Basically, it sets the rules of what you can and can’t do there,” Jones told the council. “It won’t allow any residential type of construction, such as a day care or school and that kind of stuff. It would allow any type of [business] that would fit into commercial or manufacturing.”

He said the plan would allow developers to get into the soil and construct a building because the soil cap presently on the site serves the same purpose as any foundation or asphalt material that would be used.

Wentworth asked what the city can do to find a buyer to develop the property.

Jones said the flood plain created by the Cayadutta Creek, which splits the property, could be a potential deterrent, but the section close to Main Street could be developed.

Mayor Dayton King asked City Assessor Joni Dennie to determine the fair market value the city should seek for the property – either through bid or marketing commercially.

Dennie said Wednesday the property is 3.7 acres in size. She is still determining the price the city could place on the property.