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General Brown BOE to get payments from FedEx building

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DEXTER — The General Brown Central School District will sit back and wait for money to roll in.

The district will benefit from a proposed tax break for the construction of a FedEx facility on Lot 12 at the Jefferson County Corporate Park, off Coffeen Street. A 10-year tax abatement granted by state Real Property Law will help pour money into the district upon completion of the 64,000-sqare-foot facility.

“(The) abatement is starting at 50 percent, but right now they get zero because we own that, and we’re tax exempt,” said Donald C. Alexander, chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. “It’s a win-win for them.”

The General Brown Board of Education adopted a resolution earlier this month, 5-0, consenting to a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with SunCap Watertown LLC, a commercial real estate developer. Board member Michael E. Kucharski was absent from that July 1 meeting.

“The sooner we act, the sooner we get money,” said Jeffrey West, board president. “It makes sense for us to take it; otherwise the land’s just sitting there. It behooves us to take action now. It doesn’t cost us anything. It actually costs us not to do it.”

Mr. Alexander said staging for the project has begun and the focus is to have it built and “get people working.” FedEx expects upwards of 100 people to be employed at the facility.

The FedEx building will be on the 11.49-acre lot once considered by Eagle Beverage for construction of a warehouse. The school board approved that proposed tax break, but then the company decided to not follow through with the project. FedEx originally looked at building its facility on Lot 11 of the industrial park but moved lots as plans already were established there.

Earlier this year, the school board had considered many options to generate revenue. The board decided against pursuing corporate advertisements on school buildings and athletic fields, at least for the time being.

The district faces fiscal insolvency if its financial situation does not improve within the next few years. Bernard P. Donegan Inc., Victor, the board’s financial adviser, informed the board in December that the district could be broke by 2015.

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