By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- The Town Council has traded property with Alcoa in exchange for a lot that is to house a new commerce park, according to Town Supervisor Joseph Gray.
“The property transfer has been completed,” Gray said at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting.
The town will get a 140-acre parcel on Horton Road in exchange for a lot on state Route 131 contiguous with the Alcoa west plant.
The town is pursuing state Consolidated Grant funding through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council to pay for the improvements, Gray said.
"We will work with the county IDA to apply … the North Country has been successful in securing funding the last two or three rounds," Gray said.
In addition, they are going after a $250,000 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission. The county IDA will also aid with that application, which is due Monday.
At a recent special town board meeting, Massena lawmakers decided allot space "on a case-by-case basis" to the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, Gray said.
"[The IDA] said there's a lack of space available for commercial and industrial projects of any size more than a couple acres," Massena's supervisor said.
Before anything gets built, the Horton Road lot needs an access road and utilities including a self-contained sewage treatment facility and natural gas which Gray believes will cost $1 million. That estimate includes engineering fees.
He said the grant will cover most of the cost and casino compact money could finance the local share.
He said the sewage treatment could allow Massena to build a new town barn on the parcel.
"[The town barn] would dovetail nicely," he said.
The town voted in January to spend $20,000 on the commerce park's initial design and access road construction.
They have been pursuing the exchange with Alcoa since October.