The proposal for 75 North Seventh Street was a major subject in Council president Tom DePietro's comments during the virtual meeting. He started out by assuring everyone that "the city continues to operate effectively" and "the City Council [sic] is looking towards our future." He then announced that, in response to criticism that the project was proceeding too fast and without enough public input, "a comprehensive guide to the project" would be posted early Monday morning--that's tomorrow--on the city website. The page will allow the public to submit questions and comments about the project. DePietro concluded by asserting, "It's important that we address perennial problems in Hudson as much as we deal with the urgent ones."
In his closing remarks, which begin at 1:01:52 in the video that can be viewed here, Johnson talked about what he called "the elephant in the room"--the proposed housing project. He declared that he "firmly believes" in the project, but it is now up to the Common Council to do "its due diligence." He claimed he cannot speak about Galvan's other properties in the city, saying, "My relationship with the developer is only around this project." He then dismissed "polar plunges, WiFi programs, food distribution, and other symbolic resolutions" as "feel-good initiatives" and asked "What are we really accomplishing if we are not progressing the lives of each other and our neighbors?"
|This drawing of the proposed building appears in the PILOT presentation|
Yesterday, Gossips learned that the Galvan Foundation will be funding a study of the PILOT for the proposed project to be conducted by the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz. Hudson has a little bit of experience with this group. Last summer, in the Future Hudson series of community discussions, Joshua Simons, senior research associate with the Benjamin Center, was one of the presenters in the "Preserve, or Not to Preserve" event in the series. The video of that event can be found here. Simons' presentation begins at 2:25.
A few things to bear in mind: The City's share of the $77,000 PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for the proposed project has been calculated to be $22,237--an amount that will increase by only 2 percent every year for the next forty years. Over the past three years, the Oakdale Plunge, which the mayor characterized as a "feel-good initiative," has raised close to $60,000 for the Youth Department and the Fire Department Water Rescue Team--almost as much annually as that PILOT would bring into the City's coffers. The decision to join East Light Partners' community solar plan, which was like pulling teeth for many of the aldermen, will save the City between $30,000 and $40,000 a year in utility costs.
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