Cortland County IDA Buys Apex Site, Plans Clean-Up

(Photo via Cortland County Business Development Corporation).

Press release from Cortland County Business Development Corporation.

The Cortland County Industrial Development Agency has acquired the former Apex tool site in the city of Cortland and today authorized contracts for two firms to begin cleanup work there.

Mothballed several years ago when the company laid off its 100 employees and relocated operations to South Carolina, the immense Apex facilities were demolished last summer by a Pennsylvania company that later left town with tons of construction and demolition material still scattered over the 9-acre site.

The IDA stepped in to buy the property from Complete Property Services in New Kingston, PA after it became apparent the company was not going to complete the cleanup and that a municipal foreclosure would be time-consuming and potentially expensive for local taxpayers.

“The site is a mess and people have been living with it for long enough,” said IDA Executive Director and CEO Garry L. VanGorder. “This is the fastest and most economically sensible route to a solution, and at the same time we’re very optimistic about what the future holds for the property. There is a lot of potential given its zoning, proximity to the interstate, and access to municipal utilities.”

Site acquisition, cleanup costs and related expenses will be near $400,000. “Community projects like this are in direct alignment with the IDA’s mission,” VanGorder said. “We are using our resources for the betterment of the community and ultimately to stimulate capital investment and job creation.”

The city of Cortland has been an important partner in the project, agreeing to extinguish more than $300,000 in back taxes on the property in anticipation of the IDA acquisition. The agreement will repay all or part of those taxes after the IDA is reimbursed for its investment upon sale of the site.

Once the initial cleanup is complete, a federal grant to the city will fund analysis of what materials may be in the ground there after more than a century of manufacturing activities. The IDA will then work with state and federal partners to remediate the site, if necessary, and to then to market it for redevelopment.

Ensuring that the materials are handled safely, the IDA has awarded monitoring and cleanup contracts to certified abatement contractors Arctic Enterprises of Syracuse, NY and Gorick Construction of Binghamton, NY.