Dear Commissioner Flood:
Thank you for sending me the CEDC e-newsletter this morning. I was very interested to learn that you have nothing to say about the give away of 33 acres of County-controlled land to perhaps the wealthiest private business in the county for the grand total of one American dollar. Rather than discuss the rationale behind this breathtaking decision, you remain silent. Did the Register-Star report the wrong valuation, perhaps? As I recall the report was the land was worth in excess of $300k. Well, perhaps your silence is eloquent.
I note in the past year the County petitioned the City of Hudson to waive a $35k building permit fee for the reconstruction of the County courthouse. At the time, the County pled poverty. Almost immediately after the Hudson City Council acquiesced to the County’s petition (against my vote, by the way), the County then entered into a lease with the Hudson City School District to rent the vacant Claverack School for $100k per year plus the cost to the County of upgrades to the School—when the asking price to purchase the entire property was only in the $300k range. I’ve never— in over 30 years in business and 20 years as a practicing attorney—heard of anyone paying 1/3 of the purchase price to rent a run-down property. Never.
And, now, we learn of this fabulous gift of property deeded to the CEDC to benefit the County being given to a company that doesn’t need the gift. Ginsburg’s, we’re told, was going to leave the county if they didn’t get the gift; and in return they will create a total of 50 new jobs. At the same time, up and down Warren Street in the City of Hudson, hard-working entrepreneurs carve out their economic fate despite our County government (certainly not with the aid of it). Well in excess of 80 small, independent businesses call Hudson home, and they employ 100s. Can the CEDC provide some free rent money to these entrepreneurs—or do they have to threaten to move to Greene or Dutchess counties to get the CEDC’s attention? And the City of Hudson—the only meaningfully dense and urban area in the county and the County seat—gets beggared by the very County government that we pay taxes to (and that, in return, pays no property taxes to the City for all the land the County occupies within the city).
So, again Commissioner Flood, thank you for sending me this morning’s CEDC e-newsletter. It underscores what a wonderful relationship the citizens of Hudson have with their County government.