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IDA holds event introducing Earl Martin

On Wednesday, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency voted 7-0 to sell 7,000 acres of land at the former Seneca Army Depot to Earl Martin, of Fayette, for a sum of $900,000. On Thursday, the group that decided the future of the former Seneca Army Depot held a press conference discussing the decision, process, and celebrating Martin’s successful bid. There were a number of other bids, more than a dozen of them in fact, which led to intense debate while the IDA mulled their decision.It wasn’t sold off to the highest bidder. In fact, there were multiple bids greater than the bid that was selected. However, the winning bid appeared to have one thing more than the rest. Though details of the other bids have not been made public at this time.Seneca County IDA President Robert Aronson, IDA Board Chairman Thomas Macinski, Waterloo Town Supervisor Gary Westfall, as well as Seneca Iron Works owner Earl Martin – the winning bidder – addressed members of the public.Macinski spoke to the growth and potential Martin’s plan had over competing bids. He pointed out that the “positive impact” this plan will have on the county as a whole – was a primary driver in selecting Martin’s bid.Martin said that his current operation in Fayette has reached near-maximum threshold. Any further development would require a buildout larger than his current property would allow. He talked about long-term interest in the former Seneca Army Depot, which he hopes will turn into a diverse piece of property, with a multitude of businesses and industries working together. One priority of Martin’s will be re-opening the old County Road 135, which he says will be executed by working with municipalities and Seneca County to achieve. In addition, he expressed interest in developing the site to ensure that the herd of White Deer are preserved. Martin also plans on moving nearly all of his manufacturing to the former Depot site, which he says will not result in closure of his current facility. He hopes to employ roughly 200 individuals over the next ten years, while investing a total of $13 million in the site over the next several. Martin also said that his proposal and expansion would allow his company to rely less on Chinese suppliers, which would be an overall benefit to the local economy.For Seneca County, his purchase means a return of the former Seneca Army Depot to being a taxable asset. Current businesses that are operating at the former Army Depot will be permitted to continue operating, according to Martin. The push for greater development across the board – was a priority for all parties involved. Martin also expressed interest in a solar energy facility, which would operate on the grounds. Check out the entire press conference in the video window above.

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