LANSING, Sept. 24, 2021— New York State Electric & Gas Corp. has agreed to cancel its planned public auction of 470 acres of undeveloped land that includes about 3,400 feet of Cayuga Lake shoreline, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced today.
The property know as Bell Station Landing has long been a priority site for conservation after plans to build a nuclear plant there were called off in the 1970s.
“I thank NYSEG for stepping up and being a good corporate citizen by willingly agreeing to cancel the land auction,” Hochul said in a press release. “Private development could have irreparably damaged this environmentally sensitive property, and if the auction proceeded, the opportunity to preserve the land for conservation and public access could have been lost forever.”
Earlier this month, a company spokesman had said NYSEG was firm in its intention to go forward with a public auction on Oct. 11 “in the interest of transparency and fairness.”
When NYSEG announced its plan to auction the Bell Station property to the highest bidder, local property owners, environmental groups and local officials asked Hochul to intervene.
Hochul has directed several state agencies to coordinate the permanent protection of the parcel in order to maximize public access, including the Department of Public Service, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
“NYSEG has long preferred that this parcel be conserved, and I thank Gov. Hochul, DPS Chair Howard, DEC Commissioner Seggos, and OPRHP Commissioner Kulleseid for their collaboration and support in resolving this matter,” said Carl A. Taylor, president and CEO of NYSEG.
“This is terrific news for the Finger Lakes,” said Andrew Zepp, executive director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust. “All residents of the region and the state will benefit from the conservation of this special place.
The state Department of Public Service, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation are expected to coordinate the state’s role in persevering the property.
The DEC and the Finger Lakes Land Trust have proposed acquiring the land to create a wildlife management area on the shoreline portion of the property.