About a year ago, a pillar of our community explained to me – with indignation – how Len and Terry Bernardo, owners of Skate Time 209, failed to meet the job targets promised in the original IDA application. He even suggested that I should FOIL the relevant documents and make the findings public.
Now, it seems that the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is finally taking a more aggressive stance toward the businesses that are not meeting the job targets promised under their IDA agreements.
The IDA board voted Wednesday to reduce the Sportsdome’s payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement by an estimated $20,000 over the next three years, a cut in benefits of more than 40 percent over that period.
The Sportsdome, located in Milton, was supposed to add 16 jobs but only created two, not including referees who work as independent contractors. The IDA’s aggressive stance toward the Sportsdome is part of its new accountability strategy. The board is applying a formula that decreases benefits by 50 percent of a project’s under-performance, said Chairperson David O’Halloran during the IDA’s Wednesday meeting.
It is high time Bernardos’ under-performance also triggers an appropriate action from IDA. Enough lame excuses already. I hope the community pillar agrees with me.
The Times Herald-Record published today (September 6, 2012) more details regarding the under-performing projects:
Skate Time 209 — which applied to the IDA as TLB Management — projected 37 jobs but only has nine, according to IDA documentation.
– Jon Dogar-Marinesco