It turns out that the Village of Farnham will not be getting as much in return for the sale of the former Farnham Elementary School property as they initially believed, as nearly half of the proceeds from the sale has to given to Erie County.
The land, the future site of Dollar General at the corner of Commercial Street and Route 5, was sold for approximately $47,000, and therefore a payment of $23,062.30 must be remitted to Erie County, along with copies of closing statements and paid invoices.
“The amount has already been paid,” said Farnham Mayor Julie Gibbons. “We tried initially to get that fee waived, but our attorney did not succeed. As we’ve said before, when the property was sold to the village there were back taxes owed on it, and it was negotiated down to half of the net proceeds upon the sale to a third party.”
Both the village’s attorney and the property buyer’s attorney, along with Gibbons, who placed calls to the county, worked in concert to get this fee waived, though their efforts were unsuccessful. According to Joseph Machiejewski from Erie County, there is a clause in the deed that states the Village must remit one-half of the proceeds from the sale unless there was a waiver in the deed, which there is not.
Even though the Village is losing half of their proceeds from this land sale to the county, Mayor Gibbons has not changed her stance on the sale from day one.
“Having to submit half of the net proceeds to Erie County hasn’t changed my views on selling the property in the first place, nor did it back then,” Gibbons said. “We knew this outcome was a great possibility based on the way the deed was written, but we attempted to have the county waive this because we are the smallest village in Erie County, but it didn’t work.”
“Now all we need to do is sell that remaining parcel of land up there, which has no back taxes. If we can sell that land that would be all profit for the Village.”