The village of Johnson City is moving to use eminent domain power to obtain property to be utilized for the public works department and possibly other offices.

The site at 60 Lester Avenue was acquired for $2.2 million in 2019 by a Long Island business for a possible hemp processing facility but that project was scrapped.

Village officials are developing a plan to use the property to replace the old public works department operation on Brown Street.

Attempts to conduct negotiations with the owners of the Lester Avenue site have not been successful, so the village is preparing to utilize the eminent domain option. The village would pay a fair-market price for the property.

The village is planning to hold a public hearing April 20 to get the legal process in motion.

Although the initial proposed use for the property would be for the public works department, the village eventually may consider moving other municipal offices to the site.

A property at 333 Grand Avenue had been purchased from United Health Services for construction of a new public works facility. Officials now believe the project would cost less if it entailed renovating an existing structure on Lester Avenue.

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