Friday, September 6, 2013

Not much new out of Medley meeting

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Earlier today, Medley Centre developer Scott Congel met with representatives of the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency, the Town of Irondequoit, and the East Irondequoit Central School District. But the meeting didn't bring any dramatic news about the project.

In a sense, the meeting is an apt metaphor for the project: much talk with little visible progress. Local officials met with Congel, at his request, to discuss Congel's failure to live up to the terms of the project's payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. 

Officials say the discussion was rather free-flowing. They emphasized that Congel has to make a sizable penalty payment in January, since he missed a $165 million investment milestone contained in the PILOT agreement.  East Irondequoit Deputy Superintendent John Abbott said after the meeting that Congel is supposed to send the district a proposal about how he plans to proceed. It's possible that Congel may want to move future milestones, Abbott said. 

Irondequoit Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio says that she won't entertain discussion about extending the milestones until Congel demolishes three buildings on East Ridge Road. Those buildings were supposed to be torn down by now, D'Aurizio said. She said she wants Congel to start demolition by September 15 and finish by September 30.

Congel has reportedly been in talks with the Seneca Nation of Indians about putting a casino at Medley Centre. Some local media speculated that Congel would bring the issue up during today's meeting, though the PILOT agreement prohibits casino gambling. But Abbott and D'Aurizio say that the topic received little more than a mention.

State Assembly member Joe Morelle, who represents Irondequoit but was not part of the meeting, says he's troubled that Congel is engaging in casino talks, despite the PILOT prohibition. 

Congel has indicated that he'd like state assistance with the Medley Centre project. Morelle says that's a possibility, but only if Congel starts to show that he's serious about developing the project. Irondequoit residents are "rightly frustrated" with the project, Morelle says, and do not view Congel as credible.

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