At the informal meeting of the Common Council last Monday, a resolution was introduced which sought to make recommendations to the IDA (Industrial Development Agency) regarding the applications for PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) for the two buildings being proposed by the Galvan Foundation for North Seventh Street, the area of the city that has been dubbed the "Depot District."
The resolution, which was written by aldermen John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward) and Jane Trombley (First Ward) makes two specific recommendations:
- The Common Council encourages the IDA to decline the application for a PILOT tax abatement for the market rate rental housing development proposed for 708 State Street, Hudson, NY.
- The Common Council agrees with the PILOT tax abatement for the mixed-use rental housing development and encourages the IDA to stipulate that there will be NO involvement from Galvan Partners LLC, or any other for-profit subsidiary associated with any member of the Galvan Foundation, for any building management or construction management of either of the proposed building properties.
The Foundation understands that certain members of the Council may personally oppose the Projects, which are intended to provide affordable housing to the lower- and middle-income populations of Hudson. It is profoundly disappointing, however, that these members' attempts to shut down the Projects come in the form of false personal attacks against Mr. Galloway. It is impossible to ignore that the only private individual that these Common Council members have ever attacked in this way happens to be a successful black man proposing affordable housing.
The letter goes on for six pages, citing the paragraphs in the resolution considered to be "nothing more than a defamatory and unfounded personal attack on the Foundation and Mr. Galloway" and asserting that "Mr. Galloway [has] never received any salary, profit, income, or other financial benefit from Galvan Partners, the Foundation, or any subsidiary or affiliated entity of the Foundation." The letter denies that the acquisition of property by Galloway and his various LLCs has had a "negative impact on housing affordability" in Hudson and catalogs the projects they have completed and the affordable units that were preserved when they took over Housing Resources of Columbia County. The letter claims that the aldermen who expressed opposition to the project are in violation of Section 20-1 of the city code--the Code of Ethics adopted by the Council in 1998. It also takes certain aldermen to task for opposing granting a 25-year PILOT to the proposed market rate building, when the Council "did not voice any objection to a recently approved PILOT Agreement for a market rate lodging development." (The reference is to the hotel to be developed at 620 Union Street.)
The entire letter can be read here.
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