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Lisbon Town Council submits letter to NYPA over land price dispute

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LISBON — Kenneth L. Putney, a Lisbon farmer, appealed to the Lisbon Town Council at Wednesday’s meeting to help him negotiate a “reasonable price” for the sale of land by the New York Power Authority back to his family.

The land, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River between Taggart Road and Keystone Road, originally was bought by the Power Authority in 1957 under eminent domain. The 15.51-acre plot originally was owned by the late Lowell F. Putney, and the family still has a Class A easement giving it access to the land. The Putneys are able to go to the river and to cultivate and pasture the land in connection with their farm.

“We still have the right to use the land,” Mr. Putney said, adding that even if the land is sold to someone else, the easement still will take precedent.

Town Councilman Nathanael G. Putney said, “With that contract, it really depreciates the property.”

According to documents possessed by Kenneth Putney, the Power Authority is asking for $10,000 per acre for the family to buy back the 15-acre plot. In total, NYPA is asking for $155,000 for the plot.

Town Supervisor James W. Armstrong said it sounds as if the Power Authority is overestimating the value of the land.

“I have no problem signing a resolution saying the assessed value is too high,” Mr. Armstrong said.

Mr. Armstrong said he has been speaking with the Power Authority on behalf of Mr. Putney’s complaint for the past several months.

“I was skeptical when they got people from Long Island to assess it,” Mr. Armstrong said, adding that a local assessment should be attached to the property as well.

Mr. Putney said he wanted something in writing.

Town Councilman Alan D. Dailey made a motion to send a letter to NYPA requesting the assessed value of the property be lowered.

Councilor Putney and Mr. Armstrong voted in favor of the motion.

Kenneth Putney is taking legal action against the Power Authority in an attempt to get the assessment lowered.

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