PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corp. expects to receive the last 34 property deeds from the U.S. Air Force next month.

Board of Directors Chairman Gilbert Duken said the deal should be closed on July 17.

A Finding of Suitability for Early Transfer (FOSET) agreement has been in the works for almost six years and was expected to be completed two years ago. The 34 parcels it covers require additional environmental remediation work to fully clean up contamination that stems from Air Force use of those properties. The FOSET contains stipulations on how the properties may or may not be used so that any remaining contamination will not present a danger to people or the environment.

It needs approval from the New York State Department of Health, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Air Force and Gov. David Paterson’s office.

Duken said the DEC has signed the documents. The next step is to get the governor’s signature, expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

He said the EPA has indicated it will sign the documents as early as next week. PARC President and CEO Bruce Steadman said that would enable the Air Force to draft the deed and close the deal with the County of Clinton Industrial Development Agency, which is the process through which the Air Force property is acquired from the government.

Duken thanked the people at all of the involved agencies who have helped move the process along.

“The FOSET is a fine achievement for all of these folks, and a critical component of the redevelopment and reuse of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base,” he said.

Buyers are lined up for 28 of the 34 parcels, Duken said, and remain prepared to honor their contracts even though they have waited longer than expected.

PARC expects to go out of operation 12 to 18 months after the deeds are acquired.

Finance Director Lee Mitchell said the FOSET delay will cause a budget shortfall in the area of property sales until it is completed. PARC continues to collect rent on the properties, and rents are fully collected.

A hearing on PARC’s Phase 13 grant application to Empire State Development for $752,000 has been delayed.

Steadman said those funds, matched dollar for dollar by PARC, have been used for construction projects the last several years. A number of projects are lined up, but none are crucial, so they will wait until the funding becomes available.

Kristy Dantes, who delivered the Construction and Engineering Report, said removal of debris has been completed at the former Central Heating Plant site. Environmental remediation efforts will start later this summer and take a couple of years to complete.

PARC has moved into its summer maintenance mode and has hired two summer employees to maintain the 58 acres of PARC-owned property.

Steadman would like all those who have bought property at PARC to maintain their grounds.

“It is the time of year for our annual plea for PARC property owners to cut their grass and trim their leaves,” he said.

Those simple acts are a boost to economic development efforts, Steadman said, as a positive impression is formed when the grounds look neat and tidy.

E-mail Dan Heath at:

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