Clipped From Press and Sun-Bulletin
Perkins retakes control of IDA land mortgage By STEVE 8PERO One of the world's worst-kept secrets the true mortgage holder of land purchased by the Broome Industrial Development Agency is no longer a secret at all. Richard L. Webster officially has transferred con trol of a $650,000 mortgage back to Binghamton busi nessman Prescott D. Perkins, tne agency s lawyer said yesterday. The agency now officially Knows inai tJingnaraum businessman Prescott D. Perkins was the true owner of 238 acres of land in Kirkwood when it purchased the land in 1978. Perkins bought the land, transferred title to Rich ard L Webster, and Webster sold the land to the aeencv. In the attempt to keep Perkin's ownership secret, two men lost their jobs, the agency has overhauled the way it does buisness, and further changes are being considered. Perkins boueht the land while working as an in dustrial developer for New York State Electric & Gas Corp. The utility, tearing a connici oi lmercai, asked him to sell the land, which he had purchased for $25,000. Perkins transferred the land, 238 acres, to Webster, a long-time friend, but kept control of the land, which was sold to the IDA for $650,000. Perkins eventually quit his job with NYSE&G. The huge profit the land's owner realized caused considerable controversy and led to a grand jury investigation. The agency s executive director, David H. Treichler, resigned amidst criticism that he misled the agency about the true owner of the land and the value of the property. The grand Jury said the agency's lawyer also should nave informed members about toe land's true owner. The lawyer was replaced. , . An appraisal valued the land at $500,000 prior to the agency's purchase, but no agency board member looked at the appraisal. A more recent appraisal, done after the land was developed with federal money, values the land at $2.3 million. Richard Place, the agency's new lawyer, said Perkins assumed formal ownership of the land when the IDA closed the sale of three acres of land to RJ1.S. Motor Corp for $10,000 an acre. Under terms of the sale agreement with Webster, the agency had 10 years to pay off the mortgage. The agency would only pay interest charges and would not make payments on principal until a section of land was sold to a private company. But when the IDA went to pay Webster, Webster released his formal control of the land to Perkins, Place said. To date, the IDA has paid either Perkins or Webster about $39,000, Place said. Neither Perkins nor Webster could be reached for comment. Perkin's lawyer Alan M. Zalbowitz declined comment without Perkins authorization.