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Land Acquisition Specialist – NYC Department of Environmental Protection

Projects/Programs, Stewardship

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) enriches the environment and protects public health for all New Yorkers by providing 1.1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water, managing wastewater and stormwater, and reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution. DEP is the largest combined municipal water and wastewater utility in the country, with nearly 6,000 employees. DEP’s water supply system is comprised of 19 reservoirs and 3 controlled lakes throughout the system’s 2,000 square mile watershed that extends 125 miles north and west of the City.

The Bureau of Water Supply seeks to hire two (2) Associate Staff Analyst’s for a position with Land Acquisition Program, Watershed Lands and Community Planning Division within in the Watershed Protection Programs Directorate, located in Arkville, New York.

DEP’s Land Acquisition Program (LAP) is responsible for acquiring real property interests for the City of New York outside the five boroughs in the upstate water supply watershed for the purpose of protecting water quality for nine million NYC water consumers. The LAP oversees its own acquisitions, which include fee simple and conservation easements, as well as several partnership programs which are funded by the City and managed by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the Watershed Agricultural Council, and the Catskill Watershed Corporation.

The Associate Staff Analysts, under direction, of the LAP Acquisitions Manager, will serve as Land Acquisition Specialists and will be involved in choosing eligible watershed properties for solicitation and potential acquisition in fee or conservation easement, working directly with landowners, realtors, attorneys, and town officials during the appraisal and contract process, and coordinating closely with other DEP staff during the contract and closing process. They will perform several site visits each month, negotiate land configurations with interested sellers, research a wide range of landscape and deed issues relating to potential projects, discuss these matters before a diverse working group of DEP staff, order real property appraisals from independent consultants and review said appraisal reports for accuracy, negotiate purchase contracts with sellers and their attorneys, and manage certain steps within the closing process such as seller obligations to meet certain contractual requirements. Specific duties include:

  • Coordinating with other LAP staff including direct supervisor, Section Chief, Closing Managers, and Surveyors to ensure real estate projects meet all programmatic and policy requirements during the acquisition process.
  • Working with sellers, attorneys, and/or agents to discuss real property interests including fee simple and conservation easements; routine responsibilities are to inspect, map, negotiate, configure, and appraise properties, and make purchase offers using standard model documents.
  • Working with Land Acquisition Program Closing Staff and attorneys to draft and complete real property purchase contracts within a few weeks of an accepted offer, and assists with guiding contracts through to closing.
  • Ensuring that project information in the Watershed Lands Information System (WaLIS) is updated in a timely fashion, with workflow tasks and processes followed in accordance with LAP policies and Staff Operating Procedures; ensures that journal notes, documents, and photos/maps are added to WaLIS as appropriate for each project.
  • Assisting with Requests for Proposals for new vendor contracts, vendor procurements and contracts, and processing vendor invoices.
  • Attending routine LAP real estate meetings to present real estate acquisition projects and provide guidance on appraisal issues.
  • Acting as Acquisition Project Manager for at least one geographic area within the watershed.
  • Working with various DEP staff, local community leaders, and DEP partners such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation on City-funded flood buy-out projects.

(This is a brief description of what you might do in this position and does not include all the duties of this position.)

Deadline: 03/10/23
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Arkville, NY