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May 7, 2013

Council to vote on Blodgett tax deal

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The Oneonta Common Council will vote on a proposed tax abatement agreement with Newman Development Group tonight.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be in the Oneonta High School cafeteria. The council also will other consider motions on contracts, roadwork and sidewalk projects and funding authorization, among other business.

Newman Development seeks a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement in connection with its proposed 330-bed student apartment complex, which would be built on Blodgett Drive near the State University College at Oneonta. The PILOT proposal is to be considered later in the meeting, according to the agenda.

Separately, the city Planning Commission is reviewing a site plan application, a review that considers environmental impacts.

The proposed complex has drawn mixed reviews from the neighborhood near the project site and from the downtown business community.

In the motion to be presented, the Common Council will ask the Otsego County Industrial Development Agency to enter into a PILOT agreement with Newman Development for Hillside Commons. The 15-year payment schedule includes a 3 percent annual tax-rate escalator and is based on a preliminary assessment of $8.4 million.

Under the PILOT schedule, Newman Development in the first year would pay $92,316 in taxes and in year 15, $418,909 in taxes, of which 32 percent would go to the city, 11 percent to the county and 57 percent to the school district.

The PILOT agreement also carries the following stipulations:

• the property will never be sold to the State University or any related entity.

• about 7.5 acres will be placed in a conservation easement.

• the developer will pay for infrastructure changes related to water, storm water and roads ($410,000), or make such changes, subject to city approval.

• the developer will assume responsibility for maintenance of Blodgett Drive from the Farone intersection to the boundary of the project.

• the developer will install and maintain sidewalks to connect to SUNY Oneonta’s sidewalk system above Hunt College Union.

• the developer will pay actual sewer and water fees currently estimated at $55,000 annually.