Sunday, January 27, 2008

Road 'Deal' in NH

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This past week more information was revealed about the new office park going up in New Hartford behind (west of) "The Orchard." What at first seemed somewhat objectionable as another example of Urban Sprawl is now starting to look like taxpayer subsidy of a private developer.

First we find out that Oneida County will give a PILOT for the project: reduced property taxes for several years, and a $700,000 sales tax exemption. This ostensibly was for the purpose of retaining existing jobs at "The Hartford" in New Hartford.
Then we find out that New York State will give Hartford Financial a $500,000 grant (our tax money) to locate in the new office park.

While NO new jobs are to be produced, the area requiring police and fire protection will be expanded, as will the demand for water and sewer services and need for storm water control -- costs that will fall on the tax and rate payers in general (many of whom live in Utica).

But it's for job retention . . . That makes it OK . . . Right?

Now we find out that in addition to the PILOT, the County, the Town of New Hartford, and the New Hartford School District will take the already reduced PILOT payments and dedicate a significant portion of them to improving the "country" (it did not say County) road to accommodate more traffic.

Clearly, the road deal is unnecessary to retain the jobs at "The Hartford." The PILOT and Grant accomplished that, and the company's new building is already well under construction.

As for the proposed hotel and medical office complex, these will likely draw upon existing demand within region. While some jobs may be created at this location, the project will likely result in job losses elsewhere in the region. The market for these services is only so big (and here, it is shrinking). But, free market competition is a pillar of our society, so that is OK. Traffic at this location, however, will increase, and that will be something the public will have to cope with. But since the Town will be the ultimate tax beneficiary, it will have the funds to take care of the traffic.

This is not a County industrial park, so why Utica taxpayers should be asked to pay for road improvements there through their county taxes is unknown. There was no County help for the Utica Business Park.

The deal with the New Hartford School District seems questionable. What does developing a road have to do with education?

Is it not New Hartford's policy to require payments from developers to mitigate the environmental impacts of their projects? Here, New Hartford should be getting payments from the developer to improve the road, not (effectively) the other way around.

Plenty of questions arise the more you think about this one. Why the unusual deal here -- and not elsewhere?


Anonymous said...

As a taxpayer in the New Hartford School District, I also wonder about the legality of building a town road using monies meant for reducing my school taxes. Doesn't that place a greater burden on residents in the New Hartford School District to repay the bond?

What about the Town of New Hartford residents that aren't in the NHCSD? Is it fair that fewer of their tax dollars fund this project?

What are they thinking? If the school has that much money lying around that they don't need, then perhaps we will see a decrease in the tax rate in this year's budget come May.

USux said...

Because Strike! Its New Hartford!

"Laws" don't protect anyone from the deigns of Earl Reed and his property bandits.

I'd START by looking into who owns ALL the properties that road will serve. Also take a look at where its going.

O that's right, we can't look up deeds online like other "open" counties...

You hit the nail right on the head: Its a "business park" style arrangement, (lowes, Hartford) and knowing this Town's Suprvisor and being educated in New Taxford logic, I'd start looking at the people who made the cash and reverse engineer it from there.

Don't be suprised if "familiar" (read that two ways) names don't start turning up.

Someone had better check the VINs on the crane at that construction site: In that "can't make this stuff up" fashion I'd worry if it was purchased by Town Officials as a "replacement snowshovel.... $300k" in the budget and donated to friends of the Greed administration.

I'm joking but were that true I'm certain the DA here would just try to ignore it as usual. After the forged DNAs... Whats a crane on the side of a milk carton? nothing shocks around here.

Hopefully this will develop into more info, and from there you might come across some answers.

Its rough when you have to question practically every fire hydrant a Town contracts for...

Its rough when parents have to spend their time videotaping Town Meetings to avoid "we lost that" issues when they seek a touchy record.

Its rough when citizens have to do the footwork for a DA's Office that seemingly would rather see ReedCo "keep on truckin'"..

Isss rough Tuco!

Thanks for letting me clog up your nice blog again. Someday someone "elsewhere" might actually HELP!

Mrs Mecomber said...

I'm in favor of getting rid of as many jobs as possible in this area-- starting with the state, the county, and the town jobs that are so overbloated they have nothing better to do than make schemes to waste our money.

I do wish people would STOP asking the government to "create jobs." we should be DEMANDING that they CUT jobs-- and the government jobs, firstly!

Anonymous said...

if the County DA won't act, seems like someone responsible should go to the next level: State Attorney General.

WestmoGuy said...

What a crock. If the state desides to accomidate the developers thats BS. Rt. 840 wasnt meant to have more intersections. They are fixing Middle Settlement Rd. As it is. Make a road through Lowes or something.