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Thursday headlines

Mar 24, 2011 6:32 am
Holcim advisory panel goes on the shelf
Doron Tyler Antrim of the Daily Mail reports that with the recent announcement that Holcim Cement will close its plant in Catskill come June, the future of its Community Advisory Committee — a regular gathering of local leaders and other interested parties sponsored by the company and used by plant management to report on the goings-on at the facility — is in question. The meetings have led to greater awareness of key issues, committee members say, and even yielded dividends for local residents — namely the donation in 2009 of a 10-acre plant-owned parcel on Embought Road to the Catskill Soccer Club for use as fields. But given last week’s announcement, Holcim and the communications firm that facilitates the monthly meetings say no future gatherings are planned at this time.

Officials not so hot on PILOT for new hotel
Andrew Amelinckx of the Register-Star reports from the public hearing held March 23 by the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency on a possible 20-year tax break requested by the developers of a proposed hotel, entertainment and retail complex in Greenport. The meeting saw lots of support for the possibility of a hotel coming to the area, but not so much for a two-decade long tax credit. Greenport Crossroads, Amelinckx writes, is a three-stage development at the old V & O Press site on Route 66 in Greenport that will include an 81-room Comfort Suites hotel with an indoor pool and fitness center; an entertainment facility with an 18-lane bowling alley, a sports bar and grill, laser tag, a rope course, a rock climbing wall, an arcade and a party room, among other features; and a retail space. The first phase of construction would be for the retail area that would include a proposed six-pump, 12-car Mobil service station, a drive-thru A&W restaurant and a liquor store. The corporation is asking for a 20-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, from the IDA that would release them from paying mortgage recording taxes; deed transfer taxes on any real-estate transfers; exemption on sales tax related to the acquisition, construction, renovation and installation of the project facility; and real property taxation.

Texas-based order puts priest from this area on leave amid alleged sexual affairs, drugs
The Times Union's Robert Gavin has a story about how the Rev. John Corapi, a Hudson native who became a major figure on religious television, has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations of affairs with women and drug use. His Texas-based order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, announced the action March 18. Corapi, 63, went from Green Beret to millionaire in Las Vegas. He had a mansion in Malibu, a Ferrari and a yacht -- then lost it all with drug abuse that left him homeless in Los Angeles. In 1991, at the age of 44, Corapi was ordained by Pope John Paul II. "His story has been one of redemption -- until now," Gavin writes.

Cuomo doubts property tax cap will be in budget
Adam Sechko of the Albany Business Journal writes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on March 23 that he doesn’t think the final state budget will include a plan to limit the growth of New York’s notoriously high property taxes. Cuomo also said in a prerecorded address, available elsewhere on this news blog, that he has no problem forcing legislators to choose between approving his budget plan or shutting down the government—if a deal can’t be reached before April 1, the start of the state’s next fiscal year. Top legislative leaders have replied that a government shutdown won’t be necessary.

MOD comes to Front Street
Jamie Larson of the Register-Star reports on a Catskill restaurant reopening in Hudson this week on the corner of Front and Union streets. "Transplanting and expanding their smaller MOD Cafe from Catskill to Hudson, chefs and partners Mary DiStefano and Dana Wegener (The MO and the D respectively) are now serving dinner as well as lunch and weekend brunch at their totally remodeled restaurant," Larson writes. "A selection of wines and beers are coming soon as well to their recently installed bar."

WAJ sets special meeting to discuss proposed Pre-K
Michael Ryan of the Windham Journal reports that the question of whether or not there should be a pre-kindergarten program instituted at Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central will very likely be left up to district taxpayers. School administrators are holding a special meeting on Monday, March 28, to continue discussing the 2011-12 budget. Will an aging population approve of education for the very young? Stay tuned...

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