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Local News

April 9, 2013

Oneonta city considers PILOT for developer

(Continued)

Jeffrey Smetana of Newman Development made no public comment during the meeting except to say, when asked, that limiting the residence to full-time students was a permitted restriction. 

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said he and Long have been talking with Newman Development representatives about costs to the city. Miller said the council would decide if it was ready to consider a PILOT at Tuesday’s regular meeting. 

The IDA, which has jurisdiction to approve a PILOT plan, asked the city of Oneonta in a letter dated April 5 to negotiate with Newman Development come up with a structure for a tax abatement plan. Usually, the IDA prepares a PILOT structure and seeks comment from the host municipality, Lewis said. 

This change of approach is the first time the IDA has turned over the process to the host entity, Lewis said. The IDA asked the city for direct involvement because potential infrastructure and service improvements might cause increased financial demands at the city level.

If the Common Council returns a PILOT plan to the IDA for consideration and the IDA decides to move forward, a public hearing must be scheduled and other entities notified, a process that would take at least a couple of weeks, Lewis said. 

Meanwhile, the Planning Commission has declared itself lead agency in the mandated State Environmental Quality Review of the proposed project. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, city planners will meet at Oneonta High School to hear engineering reports on environmental impacts of the project. 

Long said engineers have been asked to be ready to answer questions from the public.

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