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Seneca Supervisors Change Source of New Visitor Center Funding


Plans for funding a new visitor’s center in Tyre have changed after the Seneca County Board of Supervisors passed an amendment on where the money to pay the Chamber of Commerce comes from.  Ovid Town Supervisor Joe Borst recently brought forth an amendment to the original resolution that would have seen the county pay the Chamber an additional $50,000 a year for the next ten years for the new center.  Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Enslow-


The amendment that passed will see the funding now come from the portion given to the chamber by the county to use as the tourism promotion agency.  The original resolution had the funding coming from the percentage of bed tax the Board of Supervisors keeps to fund a tourism grant program, weed harvesting, supporting the watersheds, and help to support the Friends of the Three Bears. Borst said taking the $50,000 from that portion would mean the BOS would have to cut support for one or more of these things.

The amendment also gives County Manager Kyle Lovell direction and the authority to negotiate a lease agreement with the chamber. This lease, once negotiated, would then come back to the Board of Supervisors where it will need a two-thirds super-majority vote to pass.  Supervisor Borst said this is because the lease will be a 15-year lease. 10 years at 50k and no charge for the last 5. The Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss plans for the center again when they meet in December.

In 2019, the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce purchased the former Dr. Thomas Magee home on 2.6 acres of land at the northwest corner of Route 318 and Route 414, with plans to relocate its headquarters and build a visitors’ center.

Plans for the Finger Lakes Gateway Visitors Center include keeping the home’s exterior intact, renovating the interior, building an addition, and adding a parking lot. The project stalled because of COVID and increased construction costs.

The chamber sold some of the property just north of the house, a new Dunkin’ Donuts is currently under construction there.

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