Actions are an annoyance

This week, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency will consider a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for the proposed Dunkirk Great Lakes Cold Storage facility, which has already had its share of controversy.

A first hurdle was overcome during a city hearing last month when the board approved the rezoning of the area between Central Avenue, Fairview Avenue and Main Street Extension from residential to commercial. This obviously does not sit well with those who own homes in that neighborhood.

Adding insult is the PILOT proposal, which similar to the NRG hearing in February, was available through the county IDA only at its Jamestown office.

Thus, many locally had to go out of their way to view the application.

At least the most recent storage hearing had paperwork available. At the comment session for NRG on Feb. 24, county IDA officials said that day the paperwork for the proposal would not be available until Feb. 27.

Really? What’s the point of the hearing if documents are not able to be viewed?

Mary Ellen Decker of Dunkirk also brought one more valid point. The IDA hearing for the storage facility came at 10 a.m. — a time inconvenient for the working residents who pay taxes.

On April 9, this corner stated its case for project. We are, however, uncomfortable with the PILOT and the way the county IDA — for the second time in two months — has not been forthcoming.

“Residents have been told the city will, if taxes are paid, bring in $250,000, but what’s the PILOT asking for?” Decker asked. “Taxes are being calculated at $406,300 per year, for a total of $6,094,500 over 15 years and if accrued, the applicant will pay 30 percent of that sum or $1,828,350. It’s pretty hard to come to $250,000 when you share that revenue with the county and the school district all at their prorated level.”

There is plenty of discontent with this project in that neighborhood. The IDA’s lack of transparency in providing documents at its Dunkirk office in the SUNY Fredonia incubator site and its inconvenient time for the hearing have only added to the angst.

COMMENTS