Press-Republican

Local News

March 6, 2012

City leases property to museum

PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh has agreed to lease a building to the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, with conditions.

The museum staff was interested in leasing Building 485 near the main museum property on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. They want to use it mainly for storage.

Since the city is not using Building 485, it was open to the idea of leasing it to the museum for $1.

Champlain Valley Transportation Museum features automobiles and other forms of transportation dating back to the early 1900s.

But some city councilors were concerned that the museum property had become an eyesore, and they wanted assurances that the yard would be cleaned up before they agreed to the lease.

Councilors Timothy Carpenter (D-Ward 1), George Rabideau (R-Ward 3) and James Calnon (I-Ward 4) each expressed concern at the recent Common Council meeting that the museum yard, which is adjacent to the Terry Gordon Bike Path, was cluttered with unsightly material.

Museum President and Founder Dr. Anthony Vaccaro agreed that the yard needed cleaning and pledged that it would be taken care of.

"I give you my word that it will be done," Vaccaro told councilors.

There was some discussion of tabling the request to lease the building until the cleanup could be completed, but Mayor Donald Kasprzak and Councilor Mark Tiffer (D-Ward 2) pushed to have it voted on.

"I support this, and they know what issues we have for them, and they will clean it up, and I see no reason to table this," Tiffer said.

Calnon was convinced to go along with the lease.

"We have a partnership with them, and as trust in that partnership, we should go ahead with this."

The lease agreement was approved unanimously.

Vaccaro said the property will be cleaned up within a month.

Email Joe LoTemplio at: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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