4/07/2011Posted by MJ
The Common Council approved the sale of 79 Canal Street to Hydraulic Race Corp. on a split vote Wednesday.
The motion by Council President Richelle Pasceri approves the city’s direct sale of the partly rehabilitated commercial property to the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride tour operator for $70,000.
Greater Lockport Development Corporation, which supervised remediation and repairs of three buildings on Canal Street and technically is leasing them from the city, will get the money. That’s fair, City Attorney John Ottaviano said, as the agency invested heavily in the properties and is looking for a return on the investment. The money will go into GLDC’s revolving loan fund, from which it provides low-interest loans to start-up and expanding businesses in the city.
Fourth Ward Alderman Andy Chapman and 2nd Ward Alderman Jack Smith voted against the sale.
Chapman said he objects to all of the money going to GLDC after the city also invested tax dollars in the Canal Street properties.
Smith last week said he objected to the city selling property to a business co-owned by someone who has a record of unpaid debts. County clerk’s records show Thomas Callahan, a minority shareholder in Hydraulic Race Corp., owes $2 million to a former business partner in a failed power generation venture....
This is an ideal location for Lockport Caves but it would be nice if some type of year round presence was put in. The block is sparse with buildings and losing any of them for part of the years makes any long term synergy difficult.
Hopefully it also puts on the side burner the small ticket office and bus parking they wanted to but on the property across Gooding Ave next to the canal. Reconfigured the plot could be home to so much more instead of dead land with a underutilized view of the canal.