Operator of First Arena says Chemung Co. IDA owes him $122K
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The owner of the Elmira Enforcers, and the operator of First Arena, says the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency owes him more than $100K as reimbursement for repairs.
Robbie Nichols says First Arena was in bad shape when he took over day-to-day operations in 2018. He says he made a number of repairs, and his staff did a lot of work.
Recently, First Arena was deemed unfit by Elmira Code Enforcement, but Nichols contends that some violations existed at the arena for several years. After being deemed unfit to stay open back in May, Elmira City Manager Mike Collins says most of the violations at First Arena have been addressed and the building was safe to remain open as of last week.
RELATED COVERAGE: Elmira City Manager: Most violations at First Arena fixed
At the Chemung County Legislature meeting on Monday night, Nichols said he believes the building will have no violations by Tuesday, and that he saved the county a lot of money. Nichols says under the current lease agreement, the County IDA owes him $122,000, with up to $200,000 in reimbursements per the lease contract.
"I just wanted the county legislators to know where we're at, they've been told different stories that I received some of my monies back that we've put into the arena, as of this date I have not received one penny back, and we've put a lot of money into fixing their arena and the agreement calls for me to be paid back some money," explained Nichols.
In response to Nichols, Christina Sonsire, a Chemung County Legislator and IDA Board Member, says the IDA cares very deeply about the future of the arena, and they want to make sure every tax dollar is spent in the correct way - in accordance with the lease agreement.
Sonsire said, "We're in the process right now of going through to make sure that the requests of us, to spend tax payer dollars are appropriate, we're working very hard through it, and our commitment is to the future of that arena, and helping it be a success."
As WENY News previously reported, Nichols signed a lease for First Arena for 1-year for $125 a month in rent. After the 1-year mark, there's the option for a 1-year renewal.