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Where are the jobs?

July 14, 2011

After attending the Sullivan County Legislature’s Community and Economic Development meeting on July 7, it is most unfortunate to learn that County Resolution 57-11 (Increased Access and Public Disclosure by Certain Outside Agencies)—a resolution adopted by our legislature last January—was filed incorrectly. The incorrectly filed version omitted important language that requires county government to provide project-level tax exemption and employment performance information on our county website, cumulatively, over the life of each project’s incentive agreement. It’s only fair that taxpayers have easy access to that information.

Thank you, Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for updating your website so that county government can begin to comply with Resolution 57-11 and so the public can more easily access some of this information. After viewing your website’s (www.sullivanida.com) “Current List of Projects,” I couldn’t help but notice Project #16, Millennium Pipeline, LLC. In 2010 you provided $834,245.99 worth of tax abatements with zero jobs generated by the project that year. Since the project has not lived up to its employment commitment (17 jobs to be created in 2010), perhaps you can answer the following questions—publicly, in a response letter to the editor. First, why are you continuing to provide tax abatements when the job creation target isn’t being met? Second, where is the benefit in this abatement that is costing us $834,245.99 and for how many years are you intending to provide it?

Claudine Luchsinger
Narrowsburg, NY