FULTON, NY – Cayuga Community College’s relocation into the former P&C store property in FultonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s River Glen Square could be a major financial thorn in the side for Fulton.
On Wednesday, the college’s board of trustees unanimously approved buying the property, located off Route 481, for an estimated $11.23 million.
Recently, the Fulton Common Council voted to cancel the PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement with the River Glen property, putting it back on the tax rolls.
The college would, however, remove the property from the tax rolls.
“My feeling is Fulton certainly doesn’t need another $12 million taken off its tax rolls,” Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said Thursday. “I don’t know how this is going to sake out, but I don’t like the looks of it right now.”
Fulton has already passed its budget for 2010.
“This will hurt us, the school district and the county,” Woodward said.
According to Woodward’s view of the deal, the Cayuga County Legislature and SUNY would split the funding 50-50; the county would own the building and lease it to the college.
“I don’t know all the details yet. But if this takes the property off our tax rolls, I’m not in favor of it,” Woodward said. “I know that there are other, cheaper options (for the college). Is there no end to the number of people who are getting a free ride at the expense of Fulton residents?”
He said he was going to check with the New York State Office of Real Property to see exactly what the tax situation will be.
Woodward expressed surprise at hearing about the plan from the media.
About three or four months ago, he had a meeting with officials from Cayuga Community College, members of the Cayuga County Legislature and others to discuss the college’s future locally. Some other options were brought to the table, he added.
“I’m a little surprised that they didn’t at least call me to tell me about this,” Woodward said.
“We didn’t have a tax increase in our budget this year. But our costs continue to keep going up,” Woodward said. “How much more are they going to try and squeeze put of the (Fulton) homeowners before they start going belly up?”