Monday, June 13, 2011

Barnes Ave. Double Standards . . .

This is interesting.

State offers $1.07M to Barnes Ave. businesses. Five businesses have been cut off from access to the rest of the world with the closure of the Barnes Ave Bridge. But . . .
The state offered nearly $1.07 million to four of the five businesses.

Bob’s Barnes Ave. Auto Parts was offered $374,500, B&W Auto Parts $323,000, A-1 Auto Parts $277,000 and the Paris Gun Club $95,000.

According to the state, the city of Utica is responsible for compensating Controlled Waste Systems Inc. because its truck terminal fell within the city limits.
Why is Utica responsible for compensating the business in Utica (which hasn't been there long enough to pay much in the way of taxes) when the Town of Marcy (which has been receiving taxes from the businesses there for years and years) is not responsible?

Why the Double Standard?
The next step is removing 110,000 tires that remain strewn across the salvage yards. That job likely will be contracted out to a tire removal company, Litwhiler said. The cost of the removal will fall upon the property owners, he said.

“It’s more than going in there and just hauling them out with a truck,” he said. “There are mechanisms in place to recover those costs.”

Property owners are responsible for cleaning up their properties to meet environmental standards. But the STATE is now the property owner in equity because the STATE has condemned the property. So why is it now the dispossessed businesses' responsibility to move the tires when the STATE caused the dispossession.

Why the Double Standard?

Common sense and turf wars have caused this needless problem.

According to an article from last November
Completely repairing the bridge would cost about $3 million . . .

About $2 million of funding – primarily federal funding, combined with state and local contributions – was obtained years ago and could potentially be put toward addressing the issues. But instead, city engineers are proposing developing an alternative route to the properties across the bridge.
If the State can now come up with  $1 Million to take the properties, when added to the $2 Million previously obtained there would have been enough money to repair the bridge . . . to keep businesses in business . . . to keep taxes flowing to Marcy . . . and to keep the state's recreational facilities along the river and canal accessible to the public.

Is a little cooperation among different agencies, municipalities and the state too much to ask?


Anonymous said...

Geesh, you need to make a few phone calls before you write this stuff. First of all, the reason why the State is only compensating the businesses in the Town of Marcy only is because they are located on a State highway as opposed to the City street south of the River which CWSI is located on. Secondly, the State is not condemning the properties nor is the Sate the property owner in equity, they are compensating the businesses for loss of access. Therefore, the property owner is still responsible for removing the tires. Now, that being said, you are absolutely correct about the the poor decision to not replace the bridge. When all is said and done, the taxpayer will have spent more on this alternative chosen than it would have cost to replace the bridge. And more importantly, the property owners would not have had to go through this.

Strikeslip said...

Thanks for the clarification, Anonymous. The average person would not know the information regarding ownership of the street vs highway, so that would explain the appearance of the double standard on compensation.

On your second point on compensating the businesses for loss of access rather than condemnation, my understanding is that those properties are going to be owned by the state, otherwise how can the state be making plans to clear them? The tires could have remained on site as long as the businesses remained there, otherwise the state would have ordered and effected their removal years ago. The fact still remains that the state failed to take proper measures to ensure that its highway would remain usable forcing the businesses to have to move and now the state is making the businesses pay to move their tires. The negligence of the state winds up being at the cost of private entities. That is wrong.

I'm glad you, too, see that the solution is costing more than replacing the bridge. Now, how can we make government avoid these costly mistakes . . . mistakes that not only are expensive for the taxpayers, but much much more so for the individuals and businesses directly affected?