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PCS school board doesn’t take action on housing project PILOT

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By BENNY FAIRCHILD

POTSDAM - Despite being listed as an action item on the agenda for this week’s meeting, another meeting has come and gone without Potsdam Central School’s Board of Education board voting on the Chason Affinity PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.

“I’ll accept a motion to accept the Chason Affinity PILOT,” said Board President Christopher C. Cowen.

After several seconds of silence and inactivity Mr. Cowen then said, “Going once, twice, OK we’re moving on.”

No one present at the table, which included all of the board members except Ralph L. Fuller, made a motion to accept the agreement.

A motion to reject the agreement was also not proposed.

Following the meeting, board of education member Wade A. Davis, who has been lobbying the board to vote on the agreement, said he had no comment when asked if he was happy with how the item played out on the agenda.

“I have no comment,” he said. “The board took the action they took. The action speaks for itself.”

Mr. Davis has argued at several meeting that the board owes it to the community to either vote yes or no on the agreement, which would bring the school district just over $1 million in revenue over the 11-year life of the agreement.

Chason Affinity, who currently own and operate Lawrence Avenue Apartments in the village, are proposing a student housing development to be built on 103 acres across from Maxcy Hall in Potsdam. The development will consist of 50, three-bedroom cottages.

The agreement would grant Chason Affinity tax breaks for 11 years with the developer receiving a 35 percent discount on its taxes for the first six years of the agreement. That would be followed by discounts of 30 percent, 25 percent, 20 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent over the final five years of the deal.

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