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Links Roundup Inside New York State Edition

April 26, 2012

Company hired to market Valley View also wants to sell Golden Hill

Mid-Hudson News
KINGSTON – A real estate marketing firm flew in two representatives from Chicago Wednesday night, to discuss Golden Hill Local Development Corporation’s intended sale of the Ulster County’s nursing home. Marcus & Millichap is the first of a handful

I-Team: Bronx Garage Near Yankee Stadium Nearly Empty on Home Opener
NBC New York
The New York City Industrial Development Agency, which approved the tax-free financing, said in a statement that taxpayers have nothing to lose if the garages go into default. “We continue to actively assist the BPDC Board as it evaluates all options

How Farsighted is Eric Schneiderman?

Word comes from the Ithaca Journal-courtesy of Liz Benjamin-that AG Schneiderman is looking into local development corporations. Who knew? It doesn’t appear, however, that the NYS AG is willing to look too close to home:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has found “red flags” in a review of local development corporations that uncovered the potential for self-dealing, nepotism, improper loans and exorbitant expenses at some. He has been examining the more than 200 local development corporations statewide, reviewing salaries and spending at the nonprofits that do government work but with fewer restrictions and less oversight. The review has led to deeper examinations of several organizations, including the Multi-County Community Development Corp. and its affiliate Rehabilitation Support Services Inc. Those organizations provide residential and day services for mental health and drug abuse clients in the Hudson Valley and part of western New York.”

Fitch Upgrades YMCA of Greater NY Revs to ‘BBB+’; Outlook Stable
MarketWatch (press release)
NEW YORK, Apr 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fitch Ratings upgrades approximately $58.8 million of outstanding New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) bonds, issued on behalf of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater New York (YMCA-NY

Ogdensburg port road funding secured
Andrew M. Cuomo announced $450000 for the port access road, while the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency provided a $95000 grant and the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency is expected to issue an $87000 loan to cover the rest

$1M in grants and credits for Indium Rome expansion
Rome Sentinel
Empire State Development Corp., New York’s economic development agency, is providing the company with a $347939 grant to help offset the cost of the purchase of new machinery and equipment, as well as $652061 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax benefits over

IDA plans vote on revised tax break for Somerset plant
Buffalo News
The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency announced Wednesday it will vote that day on a package of reductions in the payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, to be paid by the new owners of the former AES Corp. plant on Lake Road.

Ulster IDA looking at shakeup
Times Herald-Record
CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record By Jessica Dinapoli KINGSTON — The Ulster County Industrial Development Agency is hunkering down for an economic shakeup: the makeover and possible elimination of the county’s development corporation.

Buyer of the Lodge at Rock Hill to get tax breaks
Times Herald-Record
MICHELE HASKELL/Times Herald-Record By Leonard Sparks ROCK HILL — The reopening of the Lodge at Rock Hill took another step forward Tuesday when the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency approved a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the

A  longtime political insider is going to be NY MTA chief Joe Lhota’s right-hand man.

Stephen Morello has been named counselor and chairman to the CEO, at a salary of $148,100.  Most recently, Morello worked as deputy director of communications for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Previously, he was press secretary to Andrew Cuomo’s father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.

Port Authority Chief Wants Megabus Out

via Transportation Nation by Transportation Nation on 4/24/12

(New York, NY — Tracy Samuelson, WNYC) The Port Authority doesn’t want Megabus to be able to pick up passengers on the sidewalk outside the West-side bus terminal.

The city’s Department of Transportation gave the discount carrier – known for occasional $1 fares – a three-month trial permit to operate on West 41st Street outside the terminal, which expires in early May.

“It’s a danger to people trying crossing that street, whether they’re trying to access Megabus or not,” said Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while speaking at a forum Tuesday morning. “We’re going to take a vigorous position that that pilot program not be renewed and that Megabus and other operators be moved someplace else.”

A coalition of bus operators including Greyhound Lines, Peter Pan Bus Lines and Adirondack Trailways has already made a similar request of the DOT, arguing it’s unfair that they have to pay for the right to operate out of the bus terminal when Megabus can park outside for free.

City DOT spokesman Scott Gastel offered little indication of whtat the city will do. “We continue to inspect the Megabus site, and will consult with both Community Board 4 and the Port Authority next month as the 90-day period ends, taking all feedback into account as we make our evaluation,” Gastel said.

Astorino forming LDC for non-profits, says there’s no need to wait for state

via Capitol Confidential by Politics on the Hudson on 1/12/12

In an attempt to help non-profit agencies like hospitals and schools gain access to needed capital, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is forming a local development corporation to help groups borrow money for building projects and expansions.

The goal of this entity, known as an LDC, would be to fill a void left by the state since 2008 when Industrial Developments Corporations lost their authority to borrow on behalf of non-profits.

“We don’t have to wait for Albany any longer,” Astorino said in his remarks earlier today to roughly 500 business leaders attending the annual Westchester County Association breakfast. “Money from the incentives can then be used for low cost financing for capital projects, which will help create jobs and strengthen the fabric of our communities. This is smart government that Westchester shouldn’t have to wait for any longer.”

During his speech that was followed by a question and answer session, Astorino also spoke about cutting government spending, streamlining the contracts process, dealing with state mandates and promoting Westchester as a place to do business.

He was particularly critical of the state and said its leaders have basically put their “hands over their eyes” and ignored its real problems like spending and mandates that consume so much of the local tax base.

By promoting an LDC, Astorino said it was all part of creating a business-friendly environment because Westchester has been “on defense” for far too long in trying to keep them from leaving for places like Connecticut or the South.

Under his plan, the county executive would appoint five members to a board and the Board of Legislators would approve projects with the most merit, Astorino said. The bonds would be sold at market and neither taxpayers nor the county would be liable for the debt, he said.

Local development corporations are private, not-for-profit corporations typically created by local governments or larger industrial development agencies. They are authorized under the state’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and are typically used to spur economic development.

State law affords them broad powers that include the ability to issue tax-exempt bonds and take possession of public property for development purposes, and critics have argued they are not as transparent as governments and are not subject to freedom of information laws.

Ken Jenkins, chairman of the Board of Legislators, said lawmakers would take a good-hard look at the proposal, but noted the state allowed the law to lapse for a reason – so many of these agencies “skirted around the open and transparent government process.”

“We’re going to look at it, but the devil is in the details,” Jenkins said. “I’d like to know how this is going to work.”

Budget Office Finds No Wrongdoing in Ward’s Investigation
Rochester YNN
The State Authorities Budget Office completed its investigation into job shifting allegations against the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency and


Science Kit job shift found in compliance
Buffalo Business First
The complaint, filed with the Authorities Budget Office, charged that COMIDA’s financial assistance led to the transfer. The state agency, in an 11-page


TN MOVING STORIES: Massachusetts Rail To Offer Cell Phone Ticketing, Former NY Gov. Paterson Joins MTA Board

…Jersey governor Christie signed a ‘road rage’ bill into law. (Star-Ledger) Bus rapid transit is coming to Karachi. (Pakistan Daily Times) Lots of photos of “Pat,” the tunnel boring machine that will dig an underwater tunnel between Staten Island and Brooklyn. (Jalopnik) A university in Britain is developing the “Granny-Nav” — navigation tools, n…

from Transportation Nation – Apr 23, 2012 (2 days ago)

Traffic Is Down But Revenues Soar In Six Months After Toll Hike At NY-NJ Port Authority Crossings

…Jersey Governor Christie and New York Governor Cuomo, found a $4 billion cost over-run at the World Trade Center and an average salary for authority employees of $143,000 per year. Both governors used the audit as an occasion to blast the authority for wasteful spending. New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg held a Congressional hearing on Wednesd…

from Transportation Nation – Apr 22, 2012 (3 days ago)

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