Saturday, March 29, 2008
We will have some comments on our blog shortly regarding this particular meeting; but for the moment, we just have one comment regarding town board meetings in general.
Several times during town board meetings you will notice that department heads distribute handouts to all town board members; sort of an update on things they have been working on since their last report to the board. Wouldn't it be nice if these handouts were made available to the general public prior to the meeting just like the revised agenda that is always available on the town clerk's table. What's the secret? It certainly would make it much easier to know what the department head is talking about during their time at the podium.
We have been working on getting our 2008 Trash & Brush Pick-up Scheduling Program updated and it should be available within the next couple of days. We will make an announcement on this blog and our websites (New Hartford, N.Y. Online and (Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government) when the program is fully functional for 2008. Our program allows you to input the first 3 or 4 letters of your street name and find out exactly what dates trash and brush will be picked up on your street. You can even print out a calendar of pick-up times for your specific street...great for hanging on your refrigerator or bulletin board as a reminder.
A few days ago we mentioned that we have some exciting news for residents of Whitestown. We have been busy working on a project that is soon to be unveiled. Watch our blog this week for an "official" announcement!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
PRESENTATIONSThe fact is that the Public Presentation never took place at the February 27, 2008 meeting; instead Supervisor Reed took the "presenter" aside to talk to him prior to the beginning of the meeting. The "presenter" had a paper in his hand presumably listing the concerns he had regarding the old Willowvale Fire Company building on Oneida Street. Mr. Reed took the paper from the "presenter" prior to the meeting. If you listen to the videotape, you will merely hear Supervisor Reed say at the beginning of the meeting, "Walter, we have your questions..." There was no presentation and no mention of just what questions were being asked.
Sale of Willowvale Fire Co., Inc.
Walter Dluginski submitted a request that the Town Board address certain issues involving the sale of the old Willowvale Fire Co., Inc. and report their findings to the public:
- Gary Edwards of Edwards Ambulance purchased the building for $85,000
- Who set the price
- What was and is assessment of building
- Did Edwards Ambulance pay rent and utilities when they occupied the building prior to the sale
- Is there a possible conflict of interest as Gary Edwards is a ranking officer of Willowvale Fire Company
- What is the status of the audit of the Willowvale Fire Company
Supervisor Reed acknowledged Mr. Dluginski’s questions and referred the matter to Councilman Payne, in whose councilmanic district the Fire Company is located, for a response.
- Is it true that the Town Highway Department plows the firehouse parking lot; if so, why.
According to the minutes, the "presenter" asked that the answers be reported to the public. We will be watching for all the answers! In the meantime, we can answer one of the questions regarding the assessed value of the Willowvale Fire Company. According to the July 1, 2007 assessment roll available on our Online Assessment Program, the old Willowvale Fire Company building at 3472 Oneida Street is assessed for $225,200.
Isn't it funny, the town is looking at the possibility of spending $850,000 to buy a building for a new court at 19 Campion Road that is assessed for $250,000 and yet the Willowvale Fire Company sells a building for $85,000 that is assessed for $225,200.
It would appear that in the real estate game, there are no "hard and fast rules"...it all depends on who the "players" are! And guess who the "losers" are...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
For more information regarding the public hearing, listen to the videotape of the March 12, 2008 town board meeting. Codes Officer Joe Booth explained the need for the moratorium about 11 minutes into the meeting.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Late afternoon on March 8, 2008 Mud Creek is over the banks and will still rise higher before all is said and done. The bottom rung of the playhouse ladder is approximately 8 inches off the ground and the water was just under the rung around 9:30 p.m. that evening.
Another picture from Royal Brook Lane taken late afternoon on March 8, 2008. In the background you can see Consumer Square. Melting snow and stormwater run-off from Commercial Drive contribute to the major flooding these residents experience every spring.
Picture taken on March 9, 2008 - the day after the flooding. Temperatures plummeted and the residents were left with a sheet of ice covering their backyard.
Again, taken the day after the flooding. You will notice that the water that was about 8 inches deep froze creating almost 8 inches of ice in this backyard.
The day after...notice that the creek is still well above normal and fast-flowing.
This picture was taken in the same spot on a beautiful sunny day last Fall. Notice how high the bank of Mud Creek is and imagine how much water it would take before the creek even overflows to say nothing of how much water to flood the backyards and basements of the residents on Royal Brook Lane.
Obviously, this is only one area in town that desperately needs to be addressed. The March 25, 2008 Observer Dispatch had several articles on the stormwater debacle in the Town of New Hartford...a year after the approval for the $2 million bond to fix stormwater problems.
According to one of the articles, Town Planner Kurt Schwenzfeir was quoted as saying... “But obviously small projects that can only address so much,” Schwenzfeir said. “Administration changes and priorities change.” Concerned Citizens suggests that perhaps it is time that this administration get their priorities in order...fixing problems for residents that were created by developers should be Priority No. 1...residents shouldn't be required to pay to fix problems for developers.
According to the one of today's Observer Dispatch articles:
In the early 1990s, the town bonded to fix the issue, but only a part of that money was spent, officials said.Obviously, the town officials were misquoted...what it should have said was that all the money from that bond was spent, but only a part of the money was spent for actual stormwater solutions...the rest was used for other things like stormwater studies, piping ditches and overtime pay for the Highway Dept.
If you have stormwater problems or just have an opinion, we now have a new poll on the menu at the left. Let us know what you think...who will get their stormwater problems fixed with the $2 million stormwater bond in the Town of New Hartford?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government has put together a video to help answer questions regarding the Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law. We suggest that you visit this site and "bookmark" it so that you will be able to reference it whenever you have a question regarding open government and your rights regarding access to information.
Concerned Citizens will continue to bring as much information to the public as possible. We have a couple of stories that we had hoped to write about during Sunshine Week, but believe it or not, the Town of New Hartford doesn't like to respond to FOIL requests in a timely fashion!
By the way, if you are from the Town of Whitestown or know someone who is...we will have a very "special announcement" within the next few days...stay tuned!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
At the town board meeting a resident of the Higby Road Water District gave a presentation regarding the $365 water district charge on his tax bill. The resident felt that since he did not hook up to the water and was still using well water, he should not have to pay the entire cost per unit for the debt reduction. Instead he felt it was more equitable to have the charge based on assessed value. While we can empathize with the resident, the deal on special districts is that those who are in the benefit area will pay to retire the debt. Even though the resident does not use the water, he will eventually "benefit" from having the water pipes run past his yard because it will increase the value of his property at sale time.
Town board minutes reflect the fact that the creation of the water district was discussed in open meeting and there was a Public Hearing prior to the water district being formed...anyone could have attended those meetings and spoken out against the project.
February 25, 2004 - Public HearingA Public Hearing is held so that residents can speak out against if they are so inclined, but according to the minutes of that hearing, not one person spoke out against the creation of the water district. Members of Concerned Citizens attended the hearing and can vouch for the fact that those in attendance were told that regardless of whether or not they hooked up to the water, they would be responsible for paying a unit charge to retire the bond debt. In fact, it is also noted in the minutes. Now, that unit charge is what the resident is annoyed about having to pay.
After the Public Hearing, those that were against the water district collected signatures to bring the issue to a vote of all who live in the district. The vote took place on June 3, 2004...that would be the LAST opportunity that people who were against the water district could have spoken out...at the ballot box.
April 21, 2004 - Notice of Special Election - June 3, 2004The majority of residents voted 'yes' and so the district was created. According to the June 16, 2004 Town Board Minutes under "Results of Special Election" only 206 people took the time to vote...123 in favor...83 against! Where were all the people that were against the water...why didn't they speak out at the Public Hearing...why didn't they take the time to vote?
Getting back to the March 12, 2008 town board meeting, the town board told the upset resident they would prepare a response and get back to him. Hopefully, the town board only meant that rather than take town board meeting time, they will apprise him of the facts privately. Hopefully, they don't think that they can "work out a deal" for one resident. Concerned Citizens will be watching...if anyone gets any kind of "consideration", we will expect that everyone in the Higby Road water district who is still on well water will get the same "consideration"...that is only fair.
Speaking of the Higby Road water district, if you caught the article in the March 19, 2008 Observer Dispatch, "Loan will help pay for New Hartford water project", what a crock!
In that article Earle Reed is quoted as saying "This is a quality of life issue"; "We pursued the loan." Wonder who "WE" is?
The loan was "pursued" in 2002 and approved by the Environmental Facilities Corporation in 2003 according to the February 25, 2004 town board minutes:
We attended all the meetings on the water district creation during Ralph Humphreys administration...the deal was that the loan was to be interest free right from the get-go...that was under Ralph Humphreys administration...not Earle Reed. So just who is "WE", Mr. Reed?
Water Project Costs
Total system Cost - $3,982,000
Water Project Funding and Financing
Project funding agencies:
NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) – Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF)
Town submitted pre-application in 2002 for this project
EFC notified Town in June 2003 the project will be funded [emphasis added by this blogger]
Water Project Funding and Financing
0% DWSRF Loan for 30 Years $3,982,000
DWSRF Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDU) 331 – 359
Max. First Yr. Annual Capital Debt Cost $ 106,187
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
As luck would have it, this turned out to be a meeting that we recommend everyone listens to...it's only about 22 minutes.
As a prelude, the meeting was held today, March 18, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. in the New Hartford Library. According to the agenda:
Mr. Dong Min Chen, Preliminary/Final Site Plan Review for a proposed restaurant at The Avenue/K Mart Plaza, 431-4645 Commercial Drive, New Hartford in the former Blockbuster Video building. (Property owned by Goodrich New Hartford, LLC, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey). Area Variance for 83 parking spaces was reviewed at the Zoning Board meeting of February 25, 2008.Planning Board members include Hans Arnold, Chairman; Jerome Donovan; Peg Rotton; Ellen Rayhill; Rodger Reynolds; & Robert Imobersteg. Also present were Dominic Pavia and Mr. Dong Min Chen.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of allowing internal traffic control by the New Hartford Police Dept. so they can enforce the 4-way stop sign that will be added in conjunction with the proposed restaurant that is on private property. According to Hans Arnold, there are already other commercial properties where an agreement has been signed with the Town allowing for traffic control by NHPD on private property...Consumer Square was one commercial property that has an agreement with the town according to Mr. Arnold.
A unanimous vote took place for the Final Site Review plan with an amendment calling for the land owner to present a letter to the town board requesting that a local town law be passed to allow the NHPD internal traffic control on private property.
All town laws require a public hearing and we will keep you informed of the date of that hearing in case anyone wants to comment on the New Hartford Police Department handling traffic control on private property.
By the way, you don't want to miss some of Hans Arnold's parting remarks (an mp3 file; you will need Windows Media Player)...Have to ask yourself...just what is it that the staff didn't agree with Mr. Arnold on?
Let the Sunshine...
Monday, March 17, 2008
Several months ago, Concerned Citizens FOILed a copy of the full NHCS budget...not the one they send out at Budget Hearing time in May...the full, unadulterated, what-you-see-is-what-you-get budget. We've even had two (2) meetings with School Superintendent Gilligan. At the last meeting, Superintendent Gilligan asked us to make it very clear what we are looking for...duh...the budget...the one that the school is currently operating with right now. We want it broken down by school with nothing left out. Simple!
To date, Superintendent Gilligan has yet to provide that information. Oh, he was supposedly willing to share the budget when he thought he could charge us hundreds of dollars to provide us with a photocopy of the budget. Now that he FINALLY realizes that the Freedom of Information Law requires scanning a document without charge if they have the capabilities to do so, he seems to not understand just what it is we want.
We would like your input...so we have placed a poll at the top of the menu to the right. Please be fair and only vote once so we can get an accurate opinion as to just what the problem might be.
While we are at it, perhaps we can find out why we still have been unable to get a copy of the Employees Union Contract that the school board approved on January 8, 2008. Last we knew, or at least the last that Superinentendent Gilligan told us, the contract was still at BOCES being printed. You know, I don't think we have mentioned the bridge we have for sale lately...
Let the Sunshine...
Saturday, March 15, 2008
a. They need it for numerous walk-a-thons, races & parades.Honorable intentions, but let’s think about this for a moment. New York State has already contracted with MANYS to teach these classes throughout the State and the classes are conveniently held both during the week and on the weekends at the Utica and Rome campuses of MVCC.
b. They want to initiate a motorcycle training class in the area.
Tuition for these classes is $275; the fact that MANYS has been teaching these classes since 1998 shows that people “want” the classes and are willing to pay for them. Since MANYS has been given a contract to administer a motorcycle safety program one has to guess that MANYS is getting money from the tuition money that each student pays.
If there was a “need” for more of these classes, it would seem that MANYS would increase the number of classes they hold or they would increase the locations where the classes are held, because that is how they make more money.
And just because the New Hartford Police Department now has a Harley motorcycle does not make them qualified to teach motorcycle safety classes. Does the town of New Hartford really want the liability? Should this really be a function of the New Hartford Police Dept. when the “need” is already being met elsewhere?
Several people wrote to us and stated that only police departments can buy or lease a Police Model Harley motorcycle. Verbiage on the Harley website would lead one to believe that is true.
This "need" of the New Hartford Police Dept. sort of reminds us of the 911 Dispatch system. New Hartford "needs" their own 911 center even though the Oneida County 911 system could be developed to serve the whole county. County Executive Tony Picente said in his State of the County address that he will work with Utica and New Hartford to try to consolidate all 911 services into the County. Good luck with New Hartford...they are hell-bent on building their own little kingdom!
Not for nothing, but it would appear that the New Hartford Police Dept. had to "reach pretty deep" for their explanation of why a Police Model Harley motorcycle is needed. The secrecy behind this “lease” leads one to believe that we probably don’t have the whole story...at least not yet!
We will be blogging about a couple of items on the agenda in the next couple of days. We also have some further comments on the Harley Davidson motorcycle that we hope to have online later this evening.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The town has been insuring this motorcycle since November 2007. Nice of the town board to pass a resolution to accept the donation at the March 12, 2008 town board meeting...4 months later. Only cost to the town...insuring the motorcycle. So the town board is finally made aware of the donation and they pass a resolution last night to spend money to insure this motorcycle 4 months after the motorcycle has already been placed on the town insurance. Guess the Kowalski's wanted to remain so anonymous that the town board wasn't even aware of the donation.
So it would appear that any department head can have the town clerk add any vehicle to the town insurance whether or not the town board is aware of the acquisition of the vehicle or the cost of the additional insurance and without any resolution ever being passed for this additional cost...interesting. Were it not for our blog, the town board probably still wouldn't know about the donation or the insurance.
So the Police Chief wants to start a motorcycle safety course under the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Motorcycle Safety Program. According to the NYS Traffic Safety website:
"On March 23, 1998, DMV issued a request for proposal for a five-year contract to establish and administer a motorcycle safety program. On May 18, 1998, DMV accepted the proposal submitted by the Motorcycle Association of New York State, Inc. (MANYS). The resulting contract with MANYS began August 4, 1998 with a total budget of $4,077,782. The contract includes components for rider training, instructor training, program promotion and public awareness.So MANYS already has a contract with the NYS DMV to administer the program and it appears that the course is currently being taught at both the Utica and Rome campuses of MVCC and that would seem to be a more logical place to hold these classes...should the Town of New Hartford Police Department also be taking this on...and at what necessary budgeted costs will there be that we have yet to be told about...another police officer to conduct motorcycle safety classes? What happens at the end of two years when the lease is done? And where is this motorcycle being stored? Are we insuring something that is off town property? And wouldn't you think the town board would want to know how much the insurance for a super duper police motorcycle will be costing the town? Not one board member asked last night.
The initial contract was scheduled to end on August 3, 2003. The contract period needed to be extended six months to allow for bidding on a new contract to begin February 4, 2004. Following a request for proposal issued on September 15, 2003, DMV accepted a proposal from MANYS to continue its administration of the motorcycle safety program through February 3, 2009."
We will have the videotape of the meeting available shortly. It was a town board meeting full of blogging material and we will be blogging...
Monday, March 10, 2008
Everyone should also read the letter that Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland sent to Mayor Maciol on July 25, 2007. Here are some snippets from the letter:
...Has there been a buildup of sediment in Mud Creek over the years? Presumably yes, as not all past construction activities used a system of silt control...
...Secondly, the Town recently passed a Bond issue for Town-wide stormwater management improvements. In our initial thinking we had not factored in an additional work on Mud Creek...
I would suggest that we get the "Green Belt" project installed between Jay-K and the Presbyterian Home and determine its impact on the downstream properties. It may be sufficient to reduce both the frequency and magnitude of flooding in the Village. If not, and because DEC has determined Mud Creek to be a classified trout stream, there may not be a lot of options left...Funny, last October the DEC issued a permit to The Presbyterian Home to dredge Mud Creek to alleviate flooding at the Meadows...guess you just have to know the RIGHT people, be in litigation with the Town of New Hartford or be a developer! Wonder what was used to cajole DEC for this project? Some of Roger Cleveland's homemade "cooking"?
We have stuttered a couple of times in starting this project, but the Town is committed to install it. It will take a significant amount of hydraulic analysis and cajoling of both DEC and the ACOE, as this is not something they see everyday....
Saturday, March 8, 2008
If you recall, last Fall we blogged about the stormwater problems on Royal Brook Lane. On one of our previous blogs where we mentioned the problems on Royal Brook Lane we received a comment from "Anonymous"...the comment was:
...the village of NYM has contracted to correct the sewer problems and that the flooding has nothing to do with the town of NH.Our response to "Anonymous" after several visits to Royal Brook Lane to talk to the residents and after visiting them this evening:
Dear Anonymous,Al Swierczak, the Village of New York Mills Engineer also visited Royal Brook Lane tonight to see the water in the backyards of these residents and was "speechless" when asked how he would feel if this was occurring in his backyard.
Tonight we once again visited the residents on Royal Brook Lane and took a videotape of their supposed "sewer problems". Funny, the pictures we posted online last Fall, and the water we videotaped tonight both appear to be coming from Mud Creek not from a sewer problem.
Anonymous, would you like to visit the people on Royal Brook Lane who probably voted "yes" for the $2 million stormwater bond thinking that their problem would be fixed and tell them that their problem has nothing to do with the Town of New Hartford, but we are adding the cost to your tax bill anyway?
Anonymous, we hope that you will stay tuned, because we will be posting our video shortly! Apparently, you are not as informed as YOU would like to believe!
Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government
Regarding the $2 million stormwater bond, we would like to share a couple of pieces of information we obtained through the FOIL process. On September 5, 2007, the town took out a Bond Anticipation Note for $1,207,800...not sure why it wasn't for $2 million and why it wasn't a serial bond like the town board resolution implied it would be; the town board didn't need to pass a resolution subject to permissive referendum if they were planning to BAN for the money. Maybe the Adverse Opinion Letter from Barone, Howard & Co. for the 2006 Financial Statement had something to do with the BAN...it is difficult to sell a bond with an adverse opinion. Also, according to records we obtained through the FOIL process, as of December 31, 2007, $10,824.90 of the BAN money had been spent...we would assume on yet another "stormwater study". If you have stormwater problems and you voted "yes" for the $2 million bond, do you still feel confident that your problem will be resolved?
Have stormwater problems? Our offer still stands...we will post pictures of any stormwater problems in the Town of New Hartford.
As a side note, we were having audio problems with the videotape for the February 27, 2008 town board meeting. The audio has now been fixed and the video is available for viewing. About 17 minutes into the video, Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland gives an update on the latest Stormwater Advisory Committee Meeting that they shut the public out of last Fall.
To be continued...
Friday, March 7, 2008
Since we have attended all town board meetings, and never heard of a Harley motorcycle being purchased by the town, we decided to not react.
A month or so later, we get a second anonymous tip on our tip line asking the same thing. We started wondering, but again we didn't do anything. A week later, we get yet a third anonymous tip...so this time we emailed the Town Clerk and asked if she knew anything about it. We received a reply from the town clerk:
I checked w/the Police Chief who said a benefactor donated a motorcyle in the Fall. Peg notified our insurance carrier and it's on the Town's insurance as of last Fall.So to get the whole story, we ask:
...to FOIL the name and address of the benefactor that donated a motorcycle to the New Hartford Police Department and the date the donation was received by the town.The town clerk acknowledged our request and emailed the insurance card back to us confirming that indeed the town is insuring a 2008 Harley VIN #1HD1FMM1784643048 effective November 16, 2007...value $25,000. We also receive a copy of the email sent to the insurance company. In part the email says:
...to FOIL a description of the motorcycle, to include any identification such as VIN number, make, model, year and the declared value for insurance purposes.
...to FOIL any written correspondence or emails between any town board member and/or any member of the Police Department and the benefactor.
This is in response to our telephone conversation regarding the above motorcycle, which is a gift to the Police Department. The vehicle is a lease and the lease is being paid for over the next twenty-four (24) months by the giver of the gift. The value is $25,000 and the weight is approximately 750 pounds. IT IS MY FURTHER UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL LIST HARLEY DAVIDSON AS LOST PAYEE.In response to any written correspondence between the town and the benefactor, the town clerk replied:
There is no written correspondence or e-mails between any town board member and/or any member of the Police Department and the benefactor.However, as of today, though we have written a couple of follow-up emails to the town clerk reminding her that our FOIL request is still open because the question of the name of the "benefactor" remains unanswered, we have yet to receive any information.
So without any publicity or mention in a town board meeting, no correspondence or written thank you from the Town Board to the "benefactor", the Town of New Hartford Police Department is in possession of and the town is insuring a $25,000 Harley motorcycle that has been leased as a gift for the New Hartford Police Dept. for two (2) years...donor unknown. It would appear that the town would rather be in non-compliance of the Freedom of Information Law than to reveal the source of this generosity...makes it looks very questionable indeed!
If it is true that this 2008 Harley motorcycle is to ride in parades, how stupid do they think we are? Doesn't anybody think that someone would ask a question the first time the Police come rolling down Pearl Street on a new Harley motorcycle?
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Not only are FOIL requests not honored in a timely fashion, the FOIL request form currently used by the school district is in non-compliance with the Freedom of Information Law. A copy of the current FOIL Request form was discussed at the meeting with Mr. Gilligan and Attorney Hallak confirmed that the FOIL request is not in compliance. Mr. Gilligan's reply to that was that the document was created by BOCES and all the component schools use it. Hogwash...then all the component schools are currently using FOIL request forms that are in non-compliance with the Freedom of Information Law.
What part of the form is in non-compliance? The current FOIL Request form that is handed out by the New Hartford Central School District has a section that requires a person to sign a statement saying that:
"the only purpose of the records inspection is for my information, and that it will not be used for any private, commercial, fund raising, or other purpose."Hogwash...if you FOIL any information from the school DO NOT sign this part of the FOIL Request.
Also, the application is a request to "inspect". Hogwash...you are not only entitled to inspect, but you can actually receive an electronic COPY of any public document. In fact, you don't even have to use their FOIL Request form. Just send an email to Aurelia Greico, Records Officer for the New Hartford Central School District. Put FOIL Request in the subject and be as specific as possible as to what you are requesting. You will find Ms. Greico's email address on our website.
As a result of our email to Mr. Gilligan today, we now have a signed copy of the New Hartford Teachers Contract for 2007 to 2010 available on our website. We are waiting for a copy of the Employees Union Contract, the 1099s and salary information for all employees, the updated FOIL request form and the complete current school budget broken down by school. We will keep everyone informed as we receive these documents.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Police Chief Philo made a presentation explaining the law and answered questions asked by those in attendance. The videotape runs about 39 minutes and is well worth watching if you have rental properties in the Town of New Hartford.
We have also included a copy of the law in Adobe pdf format with links to Town of New Hartford Codes that are mentioned in the law. Further information regarding this law can be obtained from the New Hartford Police Department.
We are working on some audio problems with the videotape of the last town board meeting, February 27, 2008. It will be back online in a day or two.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
So, if the PILOT/TIF plan is approved, where would you assume that $478,000 will come from for the road work planned for Woods Road and Route 840?
Now, let's assume that once The Hartford moves to their new building and one of the buildings they are currently leasing is not rented to someone else by March 1, 2009. The owners of the Middlesettlement Road building will more than likely be submitting their grievance form and requesting a lower assessment because the building is vacant.
Of course, if you notice in the year 2001, the year that commercial properties were reassessed under the State Reassessment Program, the owners obviously grieved their assessment and it was lowered from $5,868,500 (Assessment at time of Sale on Nov. 16, 2000) to $4,500,000 or a reduction of $1,368,500...and that is a year when commercial properties were supposedly in need of reassessing and the building was occupied! So how much would someone who has a vacant building that is currently assessed for $4.5 million want their assessment reduced? $1.5 million? $2 million?
Now let's assume that this "old" building is purchased by a not-for-profit. There goes $4.5 million off the tax roll!
Now let's factor in that the PILOT/TIF plan will not add any tax revenue to offset increased infrastructure costs for at least 15 years and maybe more. (Yes, the Town of New Hartford does have some parcels on the assessment roll that seem to be forever owned by the Oneida County Industrial Department...a coincidence we are sure!)
Of course, these are all ASSUMPTIONS...