Thursday, February 25, 2010

Utica County Legislators & EDGE . . .

County legislature OKs EDGE funding :

Oneida County legislators voted 25-3 on Wednesday night to approve the county’s 2010 payment of about $375,000 to Mohawk Valley EDGE.

Legislators Brian Mandryck, R-Lee; Michael Hennessy, D-Sherrill; and Frank Tallarino, D-Rome, voted against the funding.

I don't get it. Last week 9 Utica County Legislators signed a letter urging EDGE to locate its office in Utica - - - and now, not one of them voted to withhold funding from EDGE pending EDGE answering questions. What was the whole point of the letter? EDGE obviously has ignored the Utica area and exercised incredibly poor judgment in bringing in Empire Aero.

It seems like legislators from Sherrill, Rome and Lee are doing a better job representing the interests of the citizens of Greater Utica than Utica area legislators!

5PM Update-
Larry has his take and more info on this here and here.


Anonymous said...

We (county taxpayers) spend $375,000 for economic development and $300,000 for the Utica Zoo.

Now tell me how that makes sense.

Larry said...

Great post, Strike!

Strikeslip said...

Actually, anonymous, we county taxpayers pay a lot more than 375K. The income to EDGE from rents should be going into the county general fund, but it does not. But for the County, EDGE would not have had that arrangement. If EDGE were entirely private, it would amount to loaning public assets for private benefit.

The county also pays in lost opportunities and questionable dealings. EDGE put the Nanocenter wetlands permit on the shelf in 2002 -- and the lack of a permit was cited as one reason why AMD took their chip fab plant to Saratoga County. The fingerprints of politics are all over that one, and County taxpayers lost.

Also the two highest paid executives of Griffiss Utilities Services Corp pull down $300K between them. Is this worth it merely to provide utilities to businesses at Griffiss Park? I don't know. Maybe the electricity is edged in gold and the service is stellar.

I do know that GUSC has recently received a permit from PSC to operate a Biomass Burn Plant to produce power there . . . But there is something odd there too. . .

EDGE is the parent corporation of GUSC. EDGE made a big deal fighting NYRI. NYRI was represented before the PSC by Couch+White out of Albany.

Guess who GUSC was represented by in front of the PSC?

ODD? Or What???

Anonymous said...

And, the EDGE gets state funding as well. Where does the state get its money? The taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The EDGE is a costly joke. If one adds the tens of millions of taxpayers dollars spent and compares that with "new" jobs created one will find a dismal performance record. The primary focus of the organization has been to shuffle existing companies from other area locations into the Griffiss Park. These relocations have been structured with below market lease deals and tax breaks. In other words, subsidized. Mr. DiMeo ought to be required to publically devulge expenditures and new job creation figures. Sadly, ccounty legislators simply sit there and rubber stamp both budget requests and questionable deals. Our money is being spent foolishly with politrical malice and involvement.The public should demand full accountabilty.

Ripped Off in Oneida County said...

Steve DiMeo needs to be fired! This man has a self-serving agenda and occupies an office to collect his six figure salary, car and benefits.

This jerk takes off for Israel for what? To say Empire Aero who already has plundered some $30 million dollars of taxpayer monies.

Mr. DiMeo answer me this: "If the owners were Italian, Irish or Polish or Bosnian...would EDGE go to the efforts for them?"

Seems to me we have a class of people who are receiving much favored treatment and robbing us blind.