Massena sells village lot to CSX, despite trustee’s objection
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 4:55 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- The village board unanimously voted to sell a piece of village property to CSX, despite one trustee’s objection that the municipality isn’t giving equal treatment to all who want to buy village land.

The property is on South Main Street and makes up part of the village Department of Public Works garage. CSX will pay $3,250 for the .25-acre lot with a $100 temporary easement.

They want to build a bypass on it so slower-moving trains can get out of the way for faster ones. Recently, the speed limit for trains was upped to 40 miles per hour. The bypass could also be hooked into the Industrial Park rail spur.

Trustee Francis Carvel, who later voted to approve the sale, said he thinks village leaders are eager to sell municipal land to big companies and don’t give equal treatment to private citizens who ask to make a property purchase.

“An individual asked about property not used by the village for 60 years … and they were denied … here’s a piece of property being used up to today,” Carvel said. “It’s not equal treatment of the different parties … we pick and choose who we want to sell to.”

Both Carvel and Mayor James Hidy refused to identify the individual or the plot.

“I have a conflict of interest,” Carvel said when asked following the meeting.

“Ask Francis – he brought it up,” Hidy said after the meeting adjourned. “He needs to come out of his little shell.”

Trustee Timothy Ahfeld said he would have to look it up because he wasn’t 100 percent sure, but thinks the property might be on Water Street. He could not recall the prospective buyer’s name.