1. The Town of New Paltz Planning Board commissioned an independent review of the financial claims made by Wilmorite, Inc. in its application to your agency. That independent review challenged virtually all of the claims that Wilmorite continues to make regarding the cost to the community of the proposed project. If you do not trust the conclusions of the independent reviewer, CGR of Rochester NY, I urge you to conduct your own review. I am confident it will disclose basic flaws in the application and demonstrate that it should be denied.
2. As stated on the UCIDA website: “The mission of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency is to advance the job opportunities, general prosperity and long-term economic vitality of Ulster County residents by targeting tax incentives, bonding and other assistance to foster creation and attraction of new business and the retention and expansion of existing business.”
You have received resolutions from the following local agencies, all of which have concluded through their own independent research that your criteria for granting a PILOT have not been met by Wilmorite:
a. the New Paltz Town Planning Board
b. the New Paltz Town Board
c. the New Paltz Village Board
d. the New Paltz Central School District Board of Education
e. the Gardiner Town Board
f. the Town of New Paltz Building Department
g. the Association of Ulster County Supervisors
If you do not trust the conclusions and recommendations of these independent local governmental agencies, it is your responsibility to conduct your own due diligence in order to determine the eligibility of Wilmorite’s Park Point project for the granting of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes. I am confident you will find that the project is not eligible and therefore Wilmorite’s application must be denied.
3. From time to time the laws of New York State enacted by legislators over many years have been known to come into conflict with one another. Clearly the legislation establishing and empowering industrial development agencies in New York State has now come into direct conflict with the legislation establishing and empowering the long tradition of ‘Home Rule’ for local municipalities. Were an IDA to grant a PILOT over the unified protests of local taxing and governmental authorities, I believe it is likely that the courts would decide in favor of Home Rule.
I urge the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency to carry out its own due diligence before creating a situation where the legitimacy of its actions will create a constitutional battle over this issue in Ulster County. I believe you will conclude from the results of your research that denial of Wilmorite’s application is the proper course of action. Proper, especially since Wilmorite has placed your agency in the precarious position of testing a hastily adopted policy of funding ‘dormitories’ for the first time in the history of IDAs in New York State and, moreover, has done so through the use of a flawed application.
4. Finally, I respectfully request that each member of the UCIDA carefully review the written transcript of the comments made by the dozens of local residents who helped make up a group of over 450 individuals present at the public hearing on Jan. 28, 2014, and additionally request that the UCIDA member who was absent that night view the video record of the hearing.
I make this request because I have observed your thoughtful deliberations at the numerous UCIDA meetings I attended over the past year or so. I have had conversations with some of you outside the setting of formal meetings and know each of you to have demonstrated wisdom and good judgment in your personal careers. I know you are fully capable of evaluating complex data and that each of you knows right from wrong.
The application of Wilmorite, Inc. is wrong. It is not fair. I ask you to do the right thing and deny this flawed and unsubstantiated application.