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Official Wants To See Municipalities Buy Condominium Property

Chautauqua Town Councilman Tom Carlson wants the town to explore buying this property on Water Street in Mavyille, where The Lodge at Chautauqua was supposed to be built. Photo by Gregory Bacon

MAYVILLE – A Chautauqua town official wants to see local governments purchase the land where a condominium was supposed to be constructed.

During this week’s town board meeting, Councilman Tom Carlson introduced a motion requesting their attorney send a letter to The Lodge at Chautauqua Lake, LLC to gauge their interest in selling 74 Water St., Mayville.

“I think it’s an opportunity we can’t overlook. Whether they want to sell it or not, I think we need to at least reach out to them and ask them,” he said.

Carlson said perhaps the village of Mayville would want to purchase the property along with the town of Chautauqua. He said if the village board isn’t interested, he said the town may be. “Even if the town has to go alone on this, I don’t see how we cannot go forward with that,” he said.

Carlson said it makes sense for the property to be purchased and be part of Lakeside Park.

Carlson said he was able to get the property assessed as well but declined to say what the assessment amount was.

Supervisor Donald Emhardt offered to reach out to Ben Webb to gauge his interest. Originally the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency was working with Webb Hospitality Group, LLC to make the project possible before the decision was made for the lodge not to move forward.

Carlson said he believes there are more people than just Ben Webb involved so he requested town attorney Joel Seachrist to move forward with an actual letter.

Emhardt questioned if any municipality should purchase the land. “I can’t see taking a taxable piece of property, have people pay for it, and take it off the tax rolls,” he said.

Carlson responded by saying it wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened. He noted that after the Mayville school building closed, it was purchased by a private developer before that individual sold it to the town of Chautauqua.

When the time came to vote on the motion to send the letter, Town Councilman Scott Cummings said he was in favor because he wants to see what the owners want to do. “Is it for sale at a reasonable price or is it not? This will tell us if we should move forward or not,” he said.

Emhardt said he wasn’t opposed to what Cummings said. All board members, including Emhardt, agreed to the motion to have Seachrist send a letter on behalf of the town, inquiring about selling the property.

Since the announcement that the lodge project is no longer going forward, the fence that surrounded the property has been taken down, although there are still signs posted advertising for Lakeside condominiums. Some of the property has been mowed, although other parts have not been attended to.

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