GENESEO – Plans to build a 50,000-square-foot medical facility across from the Wegmans plaza in the town of Geneseo moved one step forward.
On April 30, members of the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency held a public hearing on the proposed development of the $10.751 million project through the Zoom video conferencing platform.
Millstone Development Geneseo 1, LLC, has applied to the IDA for assistance in the acquisition of two parcels of land totalling more than 8.5 acres on Volunteer Road and the construction and equipping of a medical facility, including buildings, roadways, parking facilities, landscaping and related structure.
The project’s proposed investment includes an estimated $3.25 million building, $4.3 million in infrastructure, and an additional $3.2 million spending on land.
“It is a great project because it will expand the services that are already in Livingston County,” said Livingston County Development Executive Director William Bacon. “It is going to create 38 new jobs. It is going to retain another 14 jobs. So for a total employment of 52.”
Bacon added that the jobs will be high paying jobs with an average salary starting at $50,000,
While no one spoke or commented at the public hearing, Geneseo resident and town board member Matt Griffo had previously expressed concerns about the project in a letter to the editor of the Livingston County News.
Griffo suggested that extending a 10-year tax deferral program to 15 years, as requested by the developer, would equal almost $600,000 in uncollected property taxes and cost the town of Geneseo more than $50,000 in uncollected taxes. He wrote that school districts and county agencies would be affected, and that the application also included sales and mortgage tax abatements totalling $793,000.
Bacon disagreed and said there has been some confusion among residents about the payment in leu of taxes or PILOT program.
“There is something very misunderstood about the PILOT program,” Bacon said. “You will never receive any less than you were receiving already. As of today the town of Geneseo is receiving property taxes on that vacant land. When this project goes up they will continue to get what they have gotten before. It does not cost anything. There is no sacrifice on behalf of the tax payer. I think where people get confused, and why they say there is a cost, is because they do not immediately collect the new revenue.”
According to the proposal presented at the public hearing, the IDA would approve exemptions from sales and use taxes in an estimated amount of $302,020, exemptions from mortgage recording taxes in an estimated amount of $95,250, and a 15-year abatement of real property taxes on the increased assessment resulting from improvements to the facility.
The acreage is currently assessed at $392,100 and pays a total of $739 in taxes each year. The PILOT would likely be based on an assessment of $10 million, according to a cost-benefit analysis prepared by the IDA.
The PILOT would start at $2,261 annually for the first five years, and then increase annually through the final 10 years until reaching an annual payment of $266,146 in year 15. Payments over the course of the PILOT would total $1,475,110.
The IDA will lease the medical facility from Millstone and lease the facility back to Millstone. The facility will be subleased to Western NY Medical Practice, PC.
Bacon acknowledged that with UR Medicine | Noyes Health having an urgent care and outpatient surgical facility down the road there could be come duplication of services, but said there could also be an expansion of services that the community wants and needs.
“We may now have two x-ray options, or two options for ambulance services. Noyes, for example, might be doing some of the same procedures that this new facility will be doing. There could be add-on’s too,” said Bacon.
In addition to increased medical services Bacon says Millstone Development will also be improving the roads, water and sewer lines. The $4.5 million project will all be paid for by Millstone and no cost will be incurred by taxpayers.
Besides fixing potholes, the town of Geneseo will not have to do much at all, Bacon said.
“I think everyone wants to say that the developer is taking, taking and taking, and that is not the case at all,” Bacon said.
Similar to Wegmans and nearby Walmart, he said the new medical facility will be a jump start for other economic opportunities in the area.
“Now you have a road there and you are bringing traffic in. That is going to kickstart development because they have additional projects slated for development in there. Now you are building more and more tax bases. This is the start for a lot more development over there,” said Bacon.
Next up, the IDA will meet to give approval of the project and address any concerns that were brought up during the public hearing. Once that is all set Millstone Development can then start to break ground on the project.
“They would liked to have broke ground sooner, if our process was faster,” said Bacon.