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Monday, October 13, 2008

The Hartford...expansion "Need"...or corporate "Greed"? Part 1

According to an Observer Dispatch article on September 30, 2007:
“The Hartford, which has 689 employees, is part of The Hartford Financial Services Group, which is based in Hartford, Conn.”

“The tax relief package is tied to the company maintaining 689 jobs for the 10-year period.”
689 jobs will be retained according to the December 19, 2007 press release from the nylovesbiz website. In that press release, Upstate Empire State Development Chairman Daniel C. Gunderson is quoted as saying:

“This project, with the retention of 689 jobs and a $20 million-plus investment in the community, is a vote of confidence for the Mohawk Valley”.

He further states “ESD is committed to supporting the needs of companies that want to invest and grow in the region and we are pleased to work with The Hartford to realize a positive impact to the local Mohawk Valley economy.”

The press release also announced a $500,000 Empire State Development grant to The Hartford toward capital investment.

At the October 7th “Special” Town Board meeting, Councilman Rich Woodland* asked, “how many jobs will be retained as a result of the Hartford Insurance Company moving to the New Hartford Business Park?” Attorney Green replied, “he could not remember”?? According to copies of legal invoices remitted to the Town of New Hartford, Attorney Green spent 2 hours on March 29, 2008 reviewing and analyzing the signed Hartford P.I.L.O.T., Prime Lease, Leaseback Agreement, Guaranty Job Agreement and Allocation Agreement. Isn’t it odd that the town attorney (Jerry Green) could not remember? Town Attorney Green, assured everyone present at the town meeting that he had the Hartford Agreement - Job Guaranty document in his car and he would get it after the meeting and make the Hartford Job Guaranty available for public view. Mr. Green never did! Why?

*It appears that Councilman Woodland, (Ward 4...where the New Hartford Business Park is located) did not receive a copy of the Hartford Job Guaranty. Why?

Apparently, Frank Basile who, according to his invoices, has billed the Town of New Hartford about $30,000 to "assist Town of New Hartford with negotiations and financial matters relating to the development of the New Hartford Business Park" must have a memory problem too because he was in attendance at the meeting yet he said nothing. In fact, most of the questions asked by residents at the meeting went unanswered.

Concerned Citizens has that part of the agreement. We blogged about it a couple of weeks ago, Hartford Insurance Job Guaranty Questionable.

The Job Guaranty is not 689, their supposed current level of employment; not 700 or 800 as in job growth. For the first 5 years of the agreement, The Hartford guarantees 600 full-time employees. For the next 5 years, The Hartford guarantees 500 full-time employees. The Hartford’s definition of a full-time employee is someone that works a minimum of 30 hours per week. In reality there is no job growth; there isn't even really job retention. Or, are a lot of part-time employees (less than 30 hours with no benefits) included in the 689 employees...in other words, 689 employees is an inflated figure?

After year 10, according to the Job Guaranty, The Hartford “shall have no further obligation with respect to the Employment Obligation”. Why not?

Why is the The Hartford only willing to sign a Job Guaranty for 10 years? Could it be for the very same reason they “decided” to move about a mile away from the building where they are currently located?

Stay tuned…

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that the Hartford Bldg., on MiddleSettlement Road, New Hartford has been sold to St. Elizabeth's Hospital. If true, there goes $4.5 million dollars OFF THE ASSESSMENT ROLES.

So much for Earle Greed and Company. Guess who gets stuck with INCREASED property taxes? Town residents!

Anonymous said...

Just a question?

Did anyone bother to find out if the Hartford would stayed or left the area if the new deal was not reached?

Why did they want to abandon a perfectly good building on Middlesettlement Rd?

Does anyone know?