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Mount View drawing plan shelved

Niagara County has so far been unable to interest anyone in buying the former county-owned nursing home, and a County Legislature committee last week shelved a request to hire a company to provide information that might improve the site's marketability.

Mount View Health Facility closed at the end of 2007, and the county put the property up for sale with an asking price of $6 million.

Coldwell Banker Commercial Meridian signed a one-year marketing deal with the county in the summer of 2009, but it expired without action.

County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz last week tried to get the Legislature's Administration Committee to approve the hiring of Cannon Design of Grand Island for $23,500 to provide some reports about the 72-year-old former nursing home.

"We had no buyers or potential buyers. My fear is, we're going to have another Davison Road on our hands where the building sits idle," Glatz said.

He was referring to the former county infirmary, which is vacant. An attempt to sell it is currently snagged because the would-be buyer's proposal to build four-story condominiums is illegal under Town of Lockport zoning codes.

Cannon's architects were to produce detailed drawings of the five-story Mount View building's construction.

He also wanted Cannon to provide a cost estimate for upgrades to the heating and air-conditioning system.

Legislators were unimpressed with the proposal.

"We have the information we're going to pay someone to give back to us," said Legislator Gerald K. Farnham, R-Lockport.

"If nobody's interested, we just spent $23,000 to find out why," said Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane.

"We're marketing it as a medical facility," said Richard W. Eakin, deputy public works commissioner for engineering. "This [proposal] will give us an avenue to explore other aspects of marketing it."

"It may attract somebody to invest," Glatz said. And if it doesn't, "Two or three years from now it may be viable to renovate for county offices."

He said if the Legislature doesn't hire Cannon, he will recommend hiring another real estate firm and placing the property up for sale again.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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