By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Projects involving Ideal Snacks, the Catskill Brewery and the Lodge at Rock Hill came before the county’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Board on Tuesday.
Both the snacks and brewery applications earned unanimous board approval.
The Liberty snackmaker is planning a 20,000-square-foot, two-story expansion to its seven-acre factory complex at the corner of routes 52 and 55.
The $1.65 million project will create a 70x304-foot warehouse at the rear of the plant off Route 55, near the Liberty Lanes bowling alley.
The effort is expected to create 25 jobs, not counting construction workers; thus, Ideal is (through the IDA) getting a sales tax exemption worth an estimated $58,667, to be used on purchases involving the expansion’s creation.
Property taxes will not be abated. As a result, the expansion, when complete, is estimated by the IDA to add $1.1 million to local tax coffers over the next decade.
Catskill Brewery coming
A craft brewery slated to open later this year in Livingston Manor, Catskill Brewery is getting a $48,000 sales tax exemption, $6,000 mortgage tax exemption and $50,663 property tax abatement from the IDA.
The 5,250-square-foot microbrewery will sit on two-thirds of an acre off Old Route 17, not far from “new” Route 17’s Exit 96.
Four jobs are expected to be created and five retained in the $1 million project. Over a 20-year period, the brewery is expected to generate around $127,000 in additional property taxes.
That prompted concern from IDA Board member Cindy Garlinghouse.
“I just think with that much benefit [IDA incentives], they should have created at least a few more jobs,” she remarked.
IDA Executive Director Jennifer Brylinski explained that the calculation of benefits was done through a statewide formula which doesn’t count the 485-B exemption, a non-IDA incentive which gives new commercial construction a 50 percent property tax reduction in the first year, declining by five percent every year thereafter.
In other words, such a consideration would have likely led to a lower amount of IDA incentives, Brylinski indicated, but that wasn’t included in the calculation.
“I think the state’s analysis they’ve imposed on us leaves a lot to be desired,” said IDA attorney Walter Garigliano.
However, he added, the brewery isn’t getting an “enhanced package of benefits” from the IDA, which it could have if it had been deemed by the IDA as a tourism destination (such a designation typically applies to projects involving lodging and entertainment facilities, as opposed to the manufacture and distribution of beer).
And, he said, the brewery will pay “a huge amount of property taxes moving forward.”
Part of the project involves office space for Global Natural Foods, a food importer/exporter currently based in Lew Beach and owned by the same people behind the brewery. Garigliano said the lack of broadband cable service in that remote area prompted the company’s relocation to the Manor.
The Lodge at Rock Hill reopening
According to attorney, Steve Vegliante, the closed Lodge at Rock Hill is headed toward reopening but won’t remain with that name, if his client buys it.
Representing Glen Wild businessman Butch Resnick, Vegliante told the IDA Board that Resnick’s RHH Land corporation is attempting to purchase the Rock Hill hotel for around $1.5 million.
“We’re proceeding toward a closing,” he affirmed, adding that $3,000 in outstanding payments to the IDA will be included in that closing, scheduled for April.
The 74-room lodge, complete with a pool and 7,000-square-foot ballroom, could reopen by Memorial Day.
“It’s our full intention to have it open for the summer season,” said Vegliante.
A variety of repairs are necessary first, and the IDA has yet to determine what benefits package it might grant the owner-to-be.
A public hearing will be held by the IDA on April 17 at 11 a.m. inside the Government Center in Monticello.
Vegliante couldn’t say how many people might be employed (around 10 lost their jobs when the hotel closed in February), but RHH hopes to hire a consultant to determine how to best develop the rest of the 45-acre property.
The well-known Bernie’s restaurant is next door and is already owned by Resnick.
Update on red meat plant
While the proposed Liberty slaughterhouse continues to slowly move forward, Brylinski told the board she’s working to hire someone to temporarily administer the five grants involved in the project.
“It is a quagmire, a nightmare of regulation,” she said of the various rules pertaining to each grant, “and we don’t want it to go wrong.”
The cost of employing an administrator will be borne by some of the grant proceeds, she explained. No salary has been set yet.