Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 18:33
No deal in place between village, landowner over Silver Beach Rd. property
The consensus among Village of Belgium officials regarding where a stormwater retention pond should be installed as part of the Silver Beach Road project has always been the same.
“The only place it makes sense is just west of the railroad tracks on the Gasser farm,” Village President Rich Howells said.
The problem recently, officials have said, has been the ability to negotiate with the property owner, Dan Gasser, regarding the 8-1/2 acre parcel.
The Village Board met in closed session last month to direct its attorney, Gerry Antoine, to send a letter stating that “if the property owner will not negotiate with the village regarding the land, the village will pursue eminent domain,” according to village documents.
Gasser did not return several phone messages seeking comment.
The $1.1 million retention pond is a critical part of the Silver Beach project, Howells said.
“We’ve been working on this for two years and this is the lowest part of land out there,” he said. “Everything will drain towards it instead of trying to get pumps and lift stations to take the water where it doesn’t want to go.”
Business owners in the adjacent industrial park would be able to connect to the retention pond to drain water after heavy rains.
Village officials have said that currently many businesses flood after a significant rainfall.
Howells said negotiations on the land were going smoothly until it was sold to Gasser.
“We have been told that he was not in favor of giving up the land,” he said. “We have our attorney checking into different options.”
Howells declined further comment, including what the village is offering for the land, until officials have a chance to speak to the property owner.