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Public hearing planned for future of vacant property in Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) – A public hearing is scheduled for next week to discuss a proposal for a vacant plot of land in Johnson City.

476 Main Street has been empty for 17 years after a massive fire destroyed an apartment building there in 2002.

Broome-Tioga BOCES says it is hoping to use the land to help expand it’s education services at the Johnson City Learning Center across the street.

“We have the Johnson City learning Center which primarily provides adult education,” said the chief operating officer at Broome-Tioga BOCES, John Harvey. “Right now, we have an overflow of demand for professional development. Most professional development takes place at our instructional support center at our main campus but because we have such a demand we are looking for additional space.”

BOCES says it is planning to renovate the top floor of the learning center to host more programs and educational opportunities for teachers and adults in the community.

However, officials at BOCES claim the vacant property is vital to their plans, as it is needed as parking lot to accommodate the growing amount of people expected to use the center’s resources.

“We will need more parking than what we currently have. Very limited parking around the building and in the small lot adjacent to the building,” said Harvey.

If the zoning board approves the proposal, construction will also be necessary to turn the land into a parking lot.

“My understand is that would require some fill in to try to level the parking so that people can access the road,” said Harvey.

BOCES says it hopes it can put the land to good use with blessing from village residents.

“We feel that BOCES is an intricate part of the community. We are educating students as well as professional development for educators throughout the 15 school districts in this region. So, we would hope that there would be support from the community and the village to allow us to continue to support students in that way,” said Harvey.

Residents can make their voice heard about this proposal at a public hearing on Monday, August 12.

It will take place at the Johnson City Village Office at 7:30 p.m.

Tyler Brown

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