It’s probably your last chance to comment on all aspects of the Ginsberg’s expansion when the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will “hear all persons with views on either the location and nature of the proposed project, or the Financial Assistance being contemplated by the Agency in connection with the proposed Project,” tonight, Wednesday, October 15, at 7 pm at AB Shaw Firehouse, 67 Route 23, in Claverack.
“Financial Assistance” to a highly profitable for-profit company comes in the form of a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes), which would transfer the burden to … us.
And then, of course, there is the matter of 33 acres of land ‘sold’ or ‘donated,’ depending on who’s talking, to Ginsberg’s for $1, at a cost of $109K to the County, which board members and officers of the Columbia Economic Development Commission (CEDC) who made that controversial decision could not explain exactly why they voted to do so at an “emergency” meeting last week.
According to GhentCANN leader Patti Matheney, who was there, “They asked questions that one would assume had been asked before voting, not after the fact. … Was a cost-benefit analysis done and what were the results, how much was paid for the land and how was the mortgage paid, was the land ever marketed for sale, and how many jobs will be created with this expansion? (Which by the way, we were told the deal was done to retain jobs, not create new jobs).”
A copy of the Application, including “an analysis of the costs and benefits of the Project, is available for public inspection … at the offices of the Agency.” It isn’t likely to mention the cost to adjacent farmers and the rest of Claverack and Ghent, in visual pollution by a hugely out-of-scale industrial structure, likely air, water and soil pollution, and the traffic of nearly two hundred trucks in a rural area, whose real chance for economic growth lies in agriculture, tourism, and the arts.
Come to the meeting and say what you think.
If you can’t come to the meeting, write to Ken Flood:
Columbia County Industrial Development Agency
4303 Route 9
Hudson NY 12534
The official notice with details of the project are at the above link.
And here’s a link to the memo sent to the IDA by Flood: http://www.townofghent.org/images/uploads/ginsberg/IDA-Ginsbergs_Memo.pdf