Tax deal floated for Glen asphalt plant

Tax revenue would go to local governments earlier than usual under incentives being offered to a pav
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Tax revenue would go to local governments earlier than usual under incentives being offered to a paving company seeking to build a $2.9 million asphalt plant in the Glen Canal View Business Park.

Midland Asphalt signed an option agreement with the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency in January for a 12.35-acre parcel in the business park off state Route 5S.

Neither a site plan nor environmental review have begun on the proposal, and those processes must be completed before anything is built, according to Kenneth Rose, Montgomery County economic development director and CEO of the county IDA.

Though a public hearing Tuesday centered on financial incentives for the project, three people who attended expressed concern over the environmental impact an asphalt company might have.

Karen and Robert Langdon, who said they live downwind from the 300-acre business park, said they’ve read that a variety of chemicals, some believed to cause cancer, are emitted from such operations.

Truck traffic, Karen Langdon said, is another concern.

“We already have a lot of trucks in the town of Glen and the town of Mohawk,” she said.

The business park land was once part of the estate of U.S. Rep. John H. Starin, an influential figure in Montgomery County in the late 1800s and early 1900s, said Karen Chaplin, founder of the Fort Royal Foundation, which maintains the Starin estate as a wildlife sanctuary.

The land once teemed with wildlife, and Starin said she wouldn’t appreciate the land being used for any operation that did not have a positive impact on the environment.

The project will have to go through a site plan review by the Glen Planning Board and also get permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

It will be during that process, Rose said, when all details regarding the proposal’s impact will be outlined and reviewed.

For its part, the IDA is offering incentives that would include a payment in lieu of taxes agreement that would last only five years.

PILOT agreements typically last for 10 years; in the case of the massive Beech-Nut factory in the town of Florida, the terms were extended for 20 years.

The Midland Asphalt project would be self-funded, and Rose said the IDA negotiated a five-year agreement that would have the company pay 20 percent of its property taxes the first year with an increase of 20 percentage points a year until it pays 100 percent of its taxes.

Under the shortened terms, the local school district, town and county will receive a financial benefit of the project from year one and all of the tax money in five years.

Another element of the funding package would exempt the company from paying sales tax to the state on construction materials to build the plant, but Montgomery County will earn its share of the typical sales tax bill, 4 percent, on those purchases, Rose said.

Robert Langdon suggested that the company consider not using a PILOT agreement at all and just paying property taxes in light of the economy, “particularly in Montgomery County.”

The project would create nine jobs within three years and seven at the start. If it goes forward, the asphalt plant would be the third business in the park. It currently houses conveyor manufacturer Daim Logistics and ironwork company American Ornamental.

The Glen Canal View Business Park has been less successful at attracting businesses than the Florida Business Park, which houses the new Beech-Nut plant, a Target distribution facility and now, following expansion, a new Hill & Marks facility. Roughly $4 million has been spent on the Glen park since the county first started buying land options to create it back in 1994, Rose said.

That includes federal and state grants and nearly $1.5 million from the county and IDA.

Glen Town Supervisor Lawrence Coddington, who also attended the public hearing, said he is reserving comment until the review process is finished so he can consider all of the facts. The town will hold a public hearing as well, he said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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