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Board to discuss demolition of ‘Trautmann House’

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MASSENA — The Massena Town Council will discuss the fate of a home, garage and shed near the Massena International Airport at its meeting today.

Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he received a verbal offer of $2,000 for the Trautmann house and will talk with council members about whether to move ahead on the possible sale, leave the property on the market in hopes of getting a higher offer or even demolish the structures for scrap.

“We’d like to see some monetary return, but we’ll have to see what we can get,” Mr. Gray said.

The council voted unanimously in February to issue a request for proposals to sell the four structures at 367 N. Raquette River Road adjacent to the airport. Until recently, the property was a private residence owned by Stephen M. Trautmann. The successful bidder will have to remove the buildings from the site.

The parcel is within the Federal Aviation Administration’s “runway protection zone” and must be cleared to meet requirements, according to Jon P. Donahue, department manager with C&S Engineers, which provides services at the airport. The FAA prohibits buildings within that area in order to create a buffer zone for planes near the airport.

The house has been in the zone for the 28 years it has been standing, but the FAA noticed it in a study only a few years ago, Mr. Donahue said previously. Its removal has nothing to do with the often-discussed airport expansion and is only to ensure the safety of the airspace.

The Trautmanns lived in the house until recently when the town bought the property. A $240,000 portion of a $1.3 million FAA grant for Massena airport improvements funded that purchase. Included in that portion is a local contribution of about $15,000.

The house itself is assessed at about $175,000, Mr. Gray said. However, the fact that the structure needs to be moved off the property makes a sale difficult.

“It’s a full two-story house. You can’t just throw it on a tractor-trailer and move it down the road,” Mr. Gray said.

Also up for discussion at the council meeting is the future of 67 acres near the end of Pontoon Bridge Road, which was ceded to the town by the New York Power Authority as part of its 2003 relicensing agreement.

The council will discuss the feasibility of getting the property assessed and putting out a request for bids to sell it.

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