Thursday, December 20, 2007

New York State Promotes Urban Sprawl . . .

New York State is giving Hartford Financial Services Group (a private company) a $500,000 grant (your tax money) to locate in a new office park being developed in New Hartford.

I wonder how it ever became State policy to give grants that encourage construction in undeveloped areas? I wonder if a generic environmental impact statement was done on such a policy - - and what mitigation was proposed for the sprawl that it promotes?

Just wondering . . .

11 comments:

Guy from Westmo said...

More New Hartford sprawl. Congratulations. Couple more years, and NH will be one big giant paved parking lot. Again, my congratulations! :-D

Moving South said...

Instead of giving this money to private companies, this money should have been used to re-assess the commercial and residential properties in the Town of New Hartford.

No wonder many people are leaving the area due to very high real property taxes not to mention the huge sales tax.

Anonymous said...

Hey Strike,

Can you point out a single economic development project in the Mohawk Valley that you support?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, where would you propose the Hartford locate that would accomodate their needs?

Strikeslip said...

Seriously, the Hartford can locate where it just did: but with no taxpayer support. We should not be doing anything that encourages extension of the infrastructure into new fringe areas because that will up everyone's costs of maintenance later. It will also increase costs associated with policing and fire protection because those services will have to be extended to a new area.

There are certainly older areas in Utica that could support such a project. There are now acres and acres of land along Whitesboro Street adjacent to the Aud that could support it. Police and fire protection were configured when the area was formerly developed so they are already available now. Infrastructure water and sewer are already in place which must be maintained anyway. It is well served by the N-S and E-W arterials which were designed at a time when Downtown was relatively booming . . . . so you won't get the traffic nightmare you see sometimes on Commercial Drive. It is even in an area already served by Public Transit, giving people the option of busing themselves to work -- and increasing the potential pool of employees. The grant from the taxpayers makes up for the higher costs associated with reusing a formerly used piece of land.

It is much cheaper to build on "greenfields" than "brownfields." The problem with New York is that its cost of doing business is so high that it has to give money away to get anyone to come here to do anything. Grant programs, such as Empire Zones, which were originally designed to encourage redevelopment of older properties, ended up becoming necessary to make up for NY's higher costs in general. Until we get a handle on costs there is going to be a feed-back loop that will make it impossible for many to stay here. It is already happening.

Anonymous said...

Strike,

The area you mention by the aud is a very high crime area when compared to the location in New Hartford that "the Hartford" is building in (despite the fact that teh police station is across the street fro the aud).

I really couldn't blame the Hartford for not wanting to locate near there.

Strikeslip said...

Anon - Your comment assumes that the Hartford took a look at the Utica spot and rejected it. I'm willing to bet that the spot's availability never reached the Hartford's corporate conscience.

I do not think it is valid to call the area around the Aud a "High Crime" area when there are practically no people left there to commit crime or be victims. I've walked in that area during good weather at lunch times. No one bothers you. There was no disincentive when Utica Mutual chose to locate 3 blocks away.

Utican said...

New Hartford and its high taxes will force people to move elsewhere. Utica is still a good place to live and raise children.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, to state that the area around the Aud is a “high crime area” only proves that Utica suffers from a perceived reality that is just not true.

I would bet that the parking lots that surround Sangertown and Consumer Square are more prone to crime than the neighborhood that is directly adjacent to the UPD.

Utica needs an image consultant.

Strikeslip said...

Image Consultant? He he he ...
Utica needs leadership . . . in the Mayor's slot and on the County Legislature. People with the b...s to speak out and say how the county is screwing the city: like charging city residents through their sewer bills to fix problems created by and benefiting New Hartford . . . like getting city residents to pay for a pipeline to Verona through their water bills . . . and ultimately leaving the city with no water left in reserve for future growth; like trashing downtown for 10 years with that abomination construction zone around the courthouse; ... like sending EVERYTHING to Rome . . .

Greens and Beans said...

Okay Strike . . . Get your house together and get your candidacy team in place before this area looses any more of its intelligent citizens to other areas of the U.S. This exodus can be chronicled as “Central New York’s 21st Century Boston Tea Party.” It is more palatable to move to other career, political, and taxpayer friendly areas of this nation rather than fight the status quo with civil disobedience.