Seneca White Deer president voices support for depot plan


Fingerlakes Times –

Waterloo, NY   February 7, 2017 – Dennis Money has thrown his support behind Earl Martin’s plan to acquire 7,000 acres of the former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus and Varick.

In a statement issued Monday, the Seneca White Deer Inc. president also expressed his satisfaction with the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency, which has voted to enter into a lease-purchase agreement with Martin.

The IDA owns the former depot property.

Martin has agreed to pay the $900,000 purchase price up front and continue investing in the preservation of white deer herd there. In return, the Fayette business owner asked the IDA for a one-year lease, with an option for a second year, so he can attempt to get the assessed value of the property reduced from its current figure of $25 million.

“Seneca White Deer was pleased last June when Mr. Martin was selected as the winning bidder for the former depot,” Money said in a written statement. “Even before his selection, Seneca White Deer was working with him regarding the opportunities presented by the depot’s white deer and the vast benefits that they can provide to the region.”

Money said Martin’s commitment to sharing this resource with the public “are very consistent with our own objectives.”

“We were optimistic about the future of the herd,” Money said. “His subsequent actions, such as forming Deer Haven Park LLC and investing in food plots to increase the herd’s food supply, further demonstrates his commitment. After two years of effort, things seemed to be working out.”

Money said that is now in jeopardy.

“The white deer population and the Seneca Army Depot’s history are once again at great risk,” Money said. “The fate of the depot has been dragged out for over two decades. Now it is time to put aside politics and personal interests so we can move forward before it is too late and the white deer disappear.

“The IDA’s proposed temporary lease is the best way to handle the situation. To open up the bid process again will only further delay rebuilding the decimated white deer population. And all parties agree the current assessment is unrealistic. This lease provides the opportunity to resolve that issue.

“Further, there is no guarantee that any other bidders would include the deer management plan that so many people demand and we would still face the assessment issues we have today.”

Money likes Martin’s business plan for the land. Martin plans to move his Seneca Iron Works business there and expand, a move that’s expected to create jobs in the future.

“He has already spent thousands of dollars in improving the habitat for the deer and mending the fences,” Money said. “He has not only talked the talk, but he has walked the walk. It is time to seal the deal with Martin through the proposed lease and move forward with saving the depot and the white deer.”