After 65 years, Massena's Cornell's Dry Cleaning going out of business
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 2:37 pm

MASSENA -- Cornell’s Dry Cleaning is going out of business after 65 years.

A statement posted Friday on their Facebook page says they will take orders for cleaning through the end of this week.

“All clothes from the Water Street and Willow Street locations will be moved to our Main Street location for you to pick up,” the statement says.

Ken Cornell, who has run the dry cleaning and commercial side of their business, Cornell Linen Systems, said the closure is because a back taxes agreement with St. Lawrence County fell through.

“I spent five years making payments on back taxes stemming from water bills we were not able to cover during an expansion in the late 1990s. I had an agreement for making payments that I honored until 2014, when the County went back on our deal and assessed additional interest on the agreed-upon debt. It frankly was too much and would have tripled our monthly payments. There wouldn’t be a good way for me to meet payroll and make these new payments. The County moved the goalposts and refused to compromise with me on a payment plan. I am proud to say over those five years I paid back over half the principal debt, and have been current on every property tax and water bill since 2006,” the statement says. “Early this year, I realized there was no further sense trying to negotiate with the County, so I decided to close the Water Street facility and sell the Willow Street dry cleaning plant. A perspective [sic] buyer was found, an employee I have known for years. Unfortunately, her request for commercial funding was been [sic] denied. I could continue to try to run the operation, but I no longer have the desire to be in business (especially in St. Lawrence County).”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and friendship during the last four decades I have operated this firm. To all the employees who have worked hard for this firm, thank you for everything. It’s been a great run,” Cornell wrote.

He has run the commercial laundry and dry cleaning parts of Cornell’s for 40 years and his father, Wally, founded the business in 1952, the statement says.