County paid $110K for land it is selling for $1
Sep 18, 2014 6:25 am
Arthur Cusano is reporting in the Register Star a Columbia County Industrial Development Agency public hearing was held Wed., Sept. 17, at the West Ghent Fire Station concerning the Columbia Economic Development Corporation’s plan to give a tax-exempt 33-acre plot of land to Ginsberg’s Foods Inc. The land will be used for a major expansion project. The focus of the hearing Wednesday quickly became how the CEDC acquired the land it is now conveying to Ginsberg's for $1. During the hearing, Ghent resident Patti Matheney presented a copy of the deed showing the property was purchased by the CEDC for $110,000 in 1997. Matheney said several CEDC members with whom she spoke were unaware of that detail. County officials have consistently said the property was inherited. Learning the property was purchased, at least one member said she did not understand the need to expand and existing, special tax agreement to a profitable company and asked to see documentation of economic need. Under the pending agreement between the CEDC and Ginsberg's, the land would be exempt from sales, property and deed transfer taxes as long as the company creates 21 jobs within two years. Ginsberg's intends to substantially expand its Ghent facility. The planned complex would stand 50 feet tall and include a 65,000 square-foot freezer and 8,400 square-foot maintenance building. A second public hearing will be held in Claverack at a future, unspecified date. Read the full story in the Register Star.