Mayor hopes to redraw Plattsburgh City-Town line

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) "Our future can't be dictated by artificial lines on maps," said Mayor Colin Read, D-Plattsburgh. "We have to look for places to develop and we expect and assume we are going to have cooperation to do so."

Read and city and county officials gathered Thursday to talk about the Rugar Street property the city purchased last month. The 42 acres, though, is located within Plattsburgh Town, and so is an adjacent 177-acre parcel also owned by the city.

The mayor has big plans for the big, new parcel.

"They felt it was very necessary to be right along Rugar Street here. Being along Rugar Street really opens this whole area to be really nicely developed," Read said.

It would be home to the city's Municipal Lighting Department. But part of the plan calls for the city annexing the property it just bought.

State law says if a municipality-- in this case, the city of Plattsburgh-- wants to annex uninhabited land like the parcels in Plattsburgh Town, they must prove the annexation is in the best public interest and is in agreement with all local governments involved.

"We look forward to examining creative opportunities but we will make sure that we do what is in the best interest of our taxpayers and overall the impact for our region," Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Michael Cashman said.

Mayor Read says annexation is the only option for the city. He says with its 5.5-square miles already full, there is no room left for development.

"We need to figure out opportunities to be able to convert the vacant land in our area joining our city and put it back on the tax rolls for all of us to benefit," Read said.

And he says if this 200-plus-acre parcel becomes city land, it would all benefit from the city's cheap power-- a recruiting tool to lure businesses like Mold-Rite.

"We need to make more room for entities like them, who are going to generate 400 direct jobs and, according to this chart, upward of another 300 indirect jobs for our community," Read said.

Cashman says they have not received word of when they will get the city's proposal, but when they do, environmental, planning and zoning officials will go through it with a fine-toothed comb.