Sandy wrote:Another thing that came to mind when i read the deed transfers in the local paper. It stated the transfer from Morton International LLC to Morton Salt, Inc. What seemed odd was that it stated the towns of Milo, Starkey and Torrey, it must
mean the mineral rights underground as i don't believe Morton owns any land in the towns of Starkey or Torrey. Kind of
odd, ain't it.
The formation encompassed by the mine stretches to the south past the Shannon's Corners area (well into Starkey) and to the north just into the Town of Torrey. Mineral rights (probably exclusively salt and not including nat gas) would be "transferred" to the "new" owner along with the ground property. BTW, environmental liabilities would also follow the ownership.
The environmental issues associated with the brine and tailings have not been resolved to DEC's satisfaction as far as I know. I don't see how anyone would buy the property without a final environmental green light from the DEC. And it may be cheaper for Morton to continue to pay taxes on the property for some period of time rather than to completely remediate it, particularly if the assessment continues to drop as above ground facilities (and utilities) are razed. I also doubt that Morton would receive a permit to reopen the mine without completion of the environmental remediation and explicit assurances that past practices won't happen again.
So I have no reason to be optimistic about the site at this time. I have no inside info on what the hats were doing there recently but it wouldn't surprise me if they were engineers scoping/estimating a project for later this year to remove the site utilites. Utilities are the first to go in and last to come out, and there probably is a good amount of copper buried on the site.
As I said, I think the key to the future of the site, be it with Morton or someone else for salt or anything else, is the closure on the environmental situation. Once that happens, something may happen with the site.