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Watertown mayor: city should annex land for Purcell’s Bradley Street project

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Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham wants the city to annex land in the town of Pamelia that would make up an 88-acre industrial park that developer Purcell Construction plans to build off outer Bradley Street.

In November, Purcell announced plans for the park with railroad access and space for up to 20 businesses on 88 acres of commercial land off outer Bradley Street at Interstate 81. The company bought the land Oct. 3 from Pyramid Cos., Syracuse, for $1.25 million.

Only about 7 acres of the proposed industrial park are in the city, while the remaining land is in Pamelia.

But Mayor Graham said “it may be advantageous” for Purcell Construction to proceed with the project completely within the city boundaries, especially because it could then receive city sewer and water services.

If the project is done in Pamelia, the developer would have to figure out how to get water and sewer service to it, he said. If it’s in the city, Purcell would not have to purchase those services from the city or go through the process of creating water and sewer districts in Pamelia.

In addition, Purcell Construction could receive financial assistance from the Watertown Local Development Corp. and get help from the city to apply for other funding through the state. It also would receive planning assistance from the city, he said.

“I thought I’d offer some other options,” he said earlier this week. “We would be able to bring some resources to him.”

On Dec. 18, local attorney David A. Renzi, who represents the town of Pamelia, sent a letter notifying the city it planned to form a water and sewer district for Purcell’s development and the town was in the process of obtaining an engineer for the project. Mr. Renzi said the town was looking forward to talking with the city engineer’s office about the project.

As a result of the town’s interest, Mr. Graham set up a meeting before Christmas with Mark S. Purcell, owner of the construction company, to see if he would be interested in the annexation idea and other ways the city could provide water and sewer services. City Manager Sharon A. Addison and Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator, also attended.

According to the mayor, Mr. Purcell said he would consider the idea. No decision has been made. Mr. Purcell was out of the office and unavailable for comment; Pamelia Town Supervisor Lawrence C. Longway did not return a reporter’s phone calls.

On Monday night, the mayor mentioned the meeting with Mr. Purcell to the Watertown City Council because council members would be required to approve water and sewer deals with the developer.

“City Council needs to be out in front of this,” the mayor said.

Both municipalities would have to agree on going through the annexation process or the issue could head to the courts for a judge to decide.

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