Milford backs off on New Berlin land deal

NEW BERLIN – After more than two years of disagreement over a proposed land deal, Milford Academy sent a letter to village trustees Tuesday announcing the school no longer wishes to buy the property.

The word from Milford comes about a month after the village board voted to revise its latest offer to the preparatory school. The offer would have sold 10 acres of land, called Fish Field, to Milford Academy for about $4,600 an acre. The parcels of land are located just behind Milford’s main campus (the former New Berlin High School) and were to be developed into a home field for the Milford Falcons football team.

The school scrapped its intentions to construct a “high school-like” stadium at the New Berlin campus in 2009 and has played its recent home games at the Norwich High School, said Milford Director Bill Chaplick.

The land agreement would have required Milford to allow the Unadilla Valley Youth Baseball and Softball Association to use Fish Field until March 2012, when alternative fields currently under construction could then accommodate the players. The agreement also included a deadline of March 2011 for Milford to accept the new offer.

New Berlin Trustee Terry Potter told board members he met with Chaplick this week and said the issue of mandating the use of the property for the little league and the imposed deadline to sign off on the agreement were the primary factors in Milford walking away from the deal.

“I think the short of it was, it’s his position the property, if sold to him, it should be his to do with as he pleases,” Potter told the board.

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