PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The city is one step closer to having the property it needs to build a new central firehouse.
The Common Council voted 5-0 to purchase the property at 1141 Main St. at its Monday meeting. The property was purchased for a total of $514,000 from owner Geraldo Escandon: $485,000 for the property, $25,000 for business relocation and $4,500 for related legal fees.
The property includes a multi-level building that houses businesses and residential tenants.
The agreement happened late last week - so late, that the city was unable to add the item to Monday's agenda, even though the council was aware of it Friday, according to acting City Manager Brian Havranek.
The deal put the city in an unusual situation, since according to the city code agenda, items must be added by Friday afternoon in order to be voted on, so that the public and press have a fair amount of notice.
The council was required to vote to waive that requirement, since the deal was time sensitive and could not wait two weeks until the next council meeting, according to City Corporation Counsel Bernis Nelson.
"This has been a very difficult negotiation, and the purchasee gave us a deadline in order for us to enter into this contract," Nelson said. "It is very essential that we be able to send a fully executed contract back tomorrow in order to make this deal go."
Voting to add the item at the last minute did not sit well with Deputy Mayor Drew Claxton.
"I would think that the public would think this is a major item," Claxton said. "They didn't get it (to review) in time; that would be the major argument, not that we didn't get it."
However, Councilman Darren Rigger argued that the council had discussed its intention to purchase the property in great length in recent years, so the purchase was unlikely to surprise anyone.
Claxton voted against adding the item late but did vote in favor of the purchase itself. Councilman Don Bennett was absent from the meeting and did not vote.//