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MV EDGE reinstates eminent domain proceedings for elderly woman's land

By JOLEEN FERRIS

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) - The battle rages on for an elderly Marcy woman who's been fighting her government for land that's been in her family for more than 100 years.

Mohawk Valley EDGE says it needs the land to make the parcel on Hazard Road more attractive to chip fab plants, which the area has been trying to lure to that spot for years. They've made offers, but Margaret Farmer isn't interested in selling, so Mohawk Valley EDGE began eminent domain proceedings.

On July 28, Farmer signed a contract with the agency in anticipation of the fact that she wouldn't win, and the offer price would only continue to shrink. That signature was supposed to stop the eminent domain process and turn it into a private sale.

However, one of Farmer's daughter's signatures was also needed. Sibling Karen Farmer says personal issues arose which prohibited her sister from signing the contract in the one-day window she claims EDGE gave her, and therefore was not forwarded to the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency, which is working with EDGE.

Steve Dimeo of Mohawk Valley EDGE says that they were never in receipt of a contract with the elder Farmer's signature, and therefore a private sale was never solidified.

Since then, eminent domain was reinstated by default.

Karen Farmer says that now, the offering price has gone down even more from just two weeks ago.

She and her family have a date in Supreme Court in Oneida County and they fully expect to lose the land some time in November.

Farmer says all the family can hope for now is to raise that offering price by pointing out the going rate for lots in the Town of Marcy and also bringing the potential for natural gas drilling into the picture.

Officials with Mohawk Valley EDGE say they've offered Farmer a fair price for the vacant land and also point out that they are not seeking to take her home, located across the street.

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