Posted at: 04/10/2014 2:50 PM
Updated at: 04/10/2014 5:56 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
There has been a lot of talk lately about deadlines for the Medley Centre owners to fix code violations but now there is an even bigger deadline looming and County Executive Maggie Brooks says if it’s not met, it will cost the developer of the mall millions of dollars in tax breaks.
Last night Brooks said, “You and I don't have the luxury of missing our tax payments. We don't get a pass when we don't pay our bills."
It was a line in the sand drawn by Maggie Brooks during her State of the County address Wednesday night as she declared May 1 a final deadline for the owner of the Medley Centre to make overdue payments on his tax agreement.
Irondequoit Town Supervisor Adam Bello says it sends a clear signal of unity. “There were commitments made to the taxpayers of Irondequoit that in exchange for tax breaks, we would have a development at Medley Centre and I think time is up and enough is enough and we need to stop letting taxpayers subsidize a project that isn't going anywhere."
Medley owner Scott Congel has received millions of dollars in tax breaks after signing a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement six years ago. In return, he promised a $250-million redevelopment of the moribund mall but Congel has disputed whether he owes millions for missing construction milestone dates.
Brooks says next week she will ask the development agency to pass two resolutions. One would rescind the PILOT agreement if payment in full isn't received on May 1 Brooks said, “The second resolution will authorize COMIDA to join the county law department in preparing legal action to hold the developer accountable for all monies owed including PILOT and milestone payments."
In a one sentence emailed statement to I-Team10, Congel today said, “We are going to continue communicating with the County and COMIDA to attempt to resolve our differences."
Brooks says up until now, Congel had made all his payments so they had no legal authority to take action. Now, all bets are off with the county executive saying taxpayers have waited long enough for a return on their investment.