We've all seen statistics from time to time that tell us that Herkimer County is one of the poorer places in the country. But what does it do? It gives $2 Million away to a private corporation in a desperate hope to retain jobs. That's about $33 for every man woman and child living in Herkimer County . . . or about three or four meals each (more if you do your own cooking).
Aside from the fact that this donation violates the State Constitution Article VIII, it raises a couple questions. If Herkimer county has to give Remington Arms an incentive to stay here, what does that say about the company? What does that say about the community and the state?
If Herkimer County needs to bribe companies to stay there, then there is something really really wrong. The donation to Union Tools may have delayed, but did not stop, its jobs from being sent to China. It is better for Herkimer County to address the root of the problem than to, in effect, give an aspirin to a dying patient (itself).
- o - 0 - o -Meanwhile local officials in the Villages of New York Mills and New Hartford are worried about the cost of fixes to their sewer systems. And so are home owners in these places who, apparently, will be required to institute fixes on their own properties by the County Sewer Gestapo. Where does the welfare come from - and who gets the benefit - here?
Assuming arguendo that the municipalities will be required to pay for the fixes within their borders as alleged by the O-D (there has been no sign of that happening so far), it looks like the welfare will come from the residents of the Villages (to fix issues within the villages) and the sewer users in general -- the bulk of whom reside in the City of Utica.
The recipient of the welfare will be the TOWN of New Hartford and Oneida County, because it was the County allowing illegal sewer connections in New Hartford that brought about the entire Consent Order mess. The vast growth in tax base that was nourished by the violation of environmental laws occurred in the Town of New Hartford, which allowed more money to flow into the New Hartford TOWN's coffers, NH School District's coffers, and Oneida County's coffers. Interestingly, these are the same entities who are ripping off the taxpayers to pay for roads in a private development in the New Hartford Business Park.
New Hartford Town's tax base exceeds that of Utica. The Town should be paying for all this.