Rochester, N.Y. – The mayor and the county executive are at odds over the timeline for tax breaks for the Sibley Building.
Mayor Tom Richards believes the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) put a vote on a PILOT agreement on hold because it’s under political pressure. Richards said he’s been told by county insiders the GOP-controlled county legislature is angry the city is pressuring Monroe Community College to remain at Sibley.
“Now people are saying well we need more time to look at it and I don’t buy that. That’s not what going on here,” Richards said. “The city cannot allow itself to be held hostage to some agenda somebody has, someone we don’t even know.”
County Executive Maggie Brooks says there’s no effort to delay the deal. She said City Council only recently approved the PILOT and the developer’s application came to COMIDA two weeks ago.
“The county considers itself a partner in the Sibley redevelopment,” Brooks said. “We just want to get it right. We’re talking about taxpayer money. A lot of money has been spent at that site already and lost at that site and we want to make sure we have a good result.”
Brooks said she hadn’t heard of any political pressure on COMIDA to scuttle the project.
Richards said the developer’s financing could be pulled if the tax breaks are not approved this month. Winn Development plans to spend up to $150 million over the next decade to transform the building into housing, retail and offices. Winn would like MCC to remain, but has said the project can continue with the school.