First responders now have full access to the parking area
“The Great Wellsville Parking Lot Parley”
By Andrew Harris, photos provided
Earlier this week, the owner of the centrally located “Municipal Parking Lot,” in the village of Wellsville erected a barrier around their portion of the lot. The move came after the owner, Iris and William LLC, and the village of Wellsville failed to reach an agreement for the village to purchase the lot. “This lot is not for sale,” said Tarek Otero the principle of Iris and William LLC.
Our previous reporting indicated that the barricades placed in the lot had raised a public safety issue.
Wellsville Emergency Services Coordinator Chris Martelle reported that those concerns were very real and that he had conveyed his concerns to representatives of Iris and William, LLC. Martelle also made clear that he would be forced to remedy the situation using public resources if barriers were not modified.
Thursday morning, Martelle and Deputy Emergency Services Coordinator William Day Jr, visited the lot and were pleased to find that all requested modifications were completed.
“The owner has done everything we have asked for to address public safety concerns,” said Martelle.
He went on to explain that the goal was to be able to effectively move fire and rescue apparatus around the lot in the case of a fire or other emergency. Should a fire erupt at a location inside the parking lot, or on Main Street, Martelle was confident trucks to could respond without any issue. Martelle appreciated the quick attention to the matter.
“Thank you to Tarek Otero and his attorney Eric Firkel, for taking the time to address the issues and for working with us,” Martelle said.
The Wellsville Sun spoke with Otero about the changes for rescue vehicles and his comments were limited. He did state that the barriers were never intended to cause a public safety issue or to impact the neighboring businesses.
“We understood the concerns and did exactly as they requested to make sure everyone is safe,” Otero said.
The open dispute between the Village of Wellsville and Iris and William LLC has been big news recently. In late 2022, the village paid Iris and William LLC for a license to use the lot as a open public parking lot. That license expired and the village offered to purchase the lot for $32,000 based on a professional appraisal of the lot. That appraisal cost the village $4500 according to attorney Richard Buck who penned a letter on the subject that was published earlier this week.
Otero, the owner of Iris and William LLC, did not formally respond to the offer but did make this statement to the Wellsville Sun in a March 27 report: “The property is not for sale. However, if the village wants to make a realistic offer, negotiations are possible.”
From all sources available, those negotiations have come to a standstill. We will provide updates on the what we’ve coined, “The Great Wellsville Parking Lot Parley.”