IDA tables Seneca Energy resolution on Thursday

In action that was met with thunderous applause from the more than 20 in attendance, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency voted unanimously to table Resolution No. 05/2016-11.The resolution would have authorized financial assistance for the benefit of Seneca Energy II, LLC. in the form of a sales and use tax exemption for purchases and rentals related to the project.While public comment was originally held in April, many of those in attendance had questions about the proposed resolution. Former Seneca Falls Mayor Brad Jones, who initially spoke for those in opposition to the package – asked questions about the net benefit. “The IDA doesn’t have to vote on this today,” he said while addressing those in attendance.He also expressed concerns about the verbiage on a summary of the project, handed out by members of the IDA to those in attendance. The summary read in part, “As this project involves the landfill, there could be political objections to helping the company.”Jones asked the IDA to change the phrasing in the list of negative consequences of the project to include health, well-being, and quality of life side effects. A representative of Seneca Energy II addressed those in attendance, as well, reminding them that Seneca Energy’s operation is neither affiliated directly with Seneca Meadows, nor something that would end if the Seneca Meadows Landfill were to cease operation. The gases created by the landfill would continue to be produced even after the operation comes to a close. Members of the IDA spent a short period in executive session before rendering a decision that the resolution to grant Seneca Energy II the assistance they requested be tabled until further notice. They IDA also voted unanimously to create a workgroup, which will consist of IDA members, as well as members of the public to get more information, and answer more questions.A major sticking point for those in attendance was that the number of jobs being created from this expansion, which would nearly double the production on-site at Seneca Energy. One job, in addition to 12 construction jobs – would have been created by this project.In other IDA action at Thursday’s meeting:• George Tilton of 5 Star Medical Corporation delivered a presentation to the IDA, which highlighted his company’s interest in coming to Seneca County. Tilton’s company, a producer of medical equipment, is eying a 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility, which would be used down the road. Tilton said that the long-term growth of his company will be a boost to the local economy and will promote jobs.With revenues of just under $2 million now, Tilton says his company expects revenues to reach $20-25 million over the next several years. The medical equipment produced by his company was recently shown off at an expo in California. He was also previously employed by ITT in Seneca Falls.• The IDA heard an update on water and sewer projects in Waterloo, which was given by Mayor Ted Young. Those projects are moving forward without any issues. • Addressing concerns about the former Seneca Army Depot and predators inside the confines of the facility – the IDA said that there was little that could be done at this point. Executive Director Robert Aronson said that they New York State DEC had asked them “Why this year was any different,” with regard to issuing a nuisance permit at the facility. They went on to point out that this year would be like any other, and that “nature would have to take its course.”Members of the IDA did address the holes in the fence, which they say are there to serve as drainage to the site. While not all of the holes below the fence are for this purpose – in order to truly seal the facility from predators entering or exiting – it would require a fence that reached six feet below the surface.Let us know what you think about the latest action by the Seneca County IDA in the comment section below or on Facebook.

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