Selected Shorts

  • Broome County is set to expand the Broome County Jail.  Local Politicians are telling us that they must do this because the New York State is mandating it.  But let’s think about this for one minute: both crime and population have gone down over the past 20 years.  So why do we have more people locked up in Broome County Jail than ever before??? 
  • The BCIDA has taken the incredible step of asking for input from the Binghamton City Council and the Binghamton School Board before signing off on the PILOT agreement for the Chenango Place luxury student apartment building complex.  Judging by the outside of the facility, it looks almost done!  If the owner of Chenango Place Apartments needed $2 million in taxpayer dollars, then why did he wait to finish his project BEFORE the PILOT was approved?  Hubris?  Greed? Probably both!
  • As part of the PILOT for 2 Court Street, Vitaluna LLC agreed to fix up the outside of building, adding trees, better drainage, and generally keeping the area tidy.  Upon observation it seems  they aren’t even able to keep the area snow and ice free.  They opted for orange cones instead of some salt.  Great Deal BCIDA and City of Binghamton!!
  • According to a recent Comptroller’s report on the state of the City of Binghamton’s finances, one quarter of the Binghamton budget goes to debt services.  Over half of that goes to financing a mysterious $10 million debt for a single “halted” project.  So, there you go Binghamton taxpayers: 1/8th of your money is going to finance a never-completed project! 
  • Newman Development Group is expecting Broome County taxpayers to pay for yet another luxury student apartment complex in Vestal.  Before submitting an application to the BCIDA, the Vestal Town Board approved an “informal” tax break for Newman.  How do you approve something informally?   Apparently, an $8 million tax break spread out over 22 years can now be lumped into the “informal” category in Vestal. 
  • Question: How much more student housing do we need in Broome County?  Binghamton University just completed several new dorm projects, SUNY Broome is starting one, there are four luxury student housing projects in the City of Binghamton, and the Old Vestal plaza is adding 800 more rooms on top of the over 700 already there! 
  • For one of his first acts as Mayor, Rich David withdrew the City’s appeal to reinstate a fracking ban in Binghamton.  I hope your homeowner’s insurance covers methane explosions and bottled water!

 

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