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Remsen farm owners still have not settled on eminent domain amount

By GARY LIBERATORE

REMSEN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Village of Remsen is about to begin a construction project to try to alleviate some recurring flooding issues along Main St., but to do so they have had to use eminent domain to take over a portion of some residents' property.

Village of Remsen Attorney Jim Moseman says every time the village sees a heavy rain, the water coming down off the hill from Route 12 builds up in a crevice on the Horn Family Farm along Main St..

Moseman says when the rains get too heavy, that crevice overflows and floods surrounding properties.

The village hired an engineer to look into the problem and the firm came up with the solution of building a big catch basin and connecting it with a pipe to the nearby Cincinnati Creek.

The engineering plan helped secure $600,000 in both state and federal grants to get the solution implemented.

The new catch basin would be built partially on the Horn Family Farm and partially on the village firehouse property.  The pipe will then have to go across four additional property lines.

After the eminent domain issue was heard and approved by the State Supreme Court, Moseman says all of the property owners settled on an amount with the village, except for the Horn family.

Dave Horn says the village has taken over about a quarter of an acre of his family's property and offered to pay him $500.00 for that land, but he is worried that the building of the catch basin will effect his water wells.  Wells which supply water to his beef cows.  Horn says he is worried the family may lose their business over this project.

Moseman says even though the Horn's and the village have not come to a monetary agreement, the village owns the property, and will begin construction of the new catch basin in March.

He says the Horns have two years to settle their monetary issue in Supreme Court.

To bring light to this issue, the Horns have decided to close the section of the Penn Mountain Snow Riders snowmobile trail that runs through his property adjacent to Route 12.

Penn Mountain spokesperson Lee Broomfield says he fully understand the issues the Horns are facing, and appreciate the family which has allowed snowmoblers on his property for the past 30 years.  He says the move not only hurts snowmobilers, but Remsen village businesses.  He says snowmobilers can no longer stop and support businesses in the village.

Dave Horn says he apologizes to the snowmobilers, but he says it was the only way he could get anyone's attention.  He believes the village rushed into this project because if the water mitigation project isn't complete by the end of 2014, the village will lose the $600,000 in grant money.

Moseman says this project was not rushed through, and everything was done appropriately.

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