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Sun., Nov. 23
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Potsdam School Board takes no action on Affinity PILOT

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POTSDAM - Meeting less than 24 hours after a tie vote from the town board killed a PILOT agreement for Chason Affinity, a development group planning a $20 million student housing development in the village, the board of education elected not to vote on the agreement.

“It’s kind of a moot point for this board after the town voted it down last night,” School Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said.

St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Kelly was in attendance at the meeting and he urged the board to vote on the agreement, regardless of the town’s stance.

“The IDA is interested in seeing where you stand on the project,” he said, explaining that as the property stands no, the district receives approximately $3,800 in taxes per year.

Should the project, which would include 50 cottages, each with two three-bedroom units, be built, Mr. Kelly said the taxes that would be collected would rise to $293,000 by the conclusion of the agreement.

Mr. Kelly said without the project being built Chason Affinity would pay approximately $40,000 in taxes; should the PILOT be approved and the development be built the taxes paid would rise to $2.2 million.

“Just over a million in taxes would come to the school district,” he said.

At the close of the meeting when the board was discussing agenda items for future meetings, board of education member Wade A. Davis said he agreed with Mr. Kelly and thought the board should vote on the agreement.

“This is a potential million dollars in revenue. I would like to see it on the agenda for action at the July meeting,” he said. “I think this board owes it to the IDA and the folks who negotiated this agreement to either vote yes or no.”

Board of education member Frederick C. Stone Jr. disagreed. “I don’t think at this point a vote is necessary,” he said.

Mr. Davis reiterated he felt the board should take a stance on the issue.

“I think it’s a real disservice it we’re looking at a million dollars in revenue without giving it an up or down vote.”

Outgoing board of eEducation President James A. Bunstone suggested placing it on the agenda for the board’s August meeting.

“You could put it on the agenda in August for discussion and then table it if you’re not ready to vote on it,” he said.

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