How Much Is FREE Costing?

To The Editor:
I’m sure everyone remembers statements like: ”It’s not going to cost us anything” “If they leave us a bunch of piles what did we lose? Nothing because it didn’t cost us anything”!

Well I just want to interject my thoughts and ideas with some numbers for everyone to think about.

Cost of paying for crushed bricks (that we gave to the contractor) – $230,000

Cost of air quality testing during (mandated by state) asbestos removal -$60,000 (so far) – $70,000 (bonded extra) – $130,000

Loss for not having the site shovel ready for ALDI by July 1 – ?

Loss of real property taxes just from ALDI site – $12k.

Loss of revenue from sale of property not having Nestles site ready for development –
1.    Lot # 1 – $475,000 (ALDI – was paying $450,000)
2.    Lot #2 – $315,000 – (asking price)
3.    Lot #3 – $365,000 – (asking price)
4.    Lot #4 – $165,000 (asking price)
5.    Lot #5 – $395,000 (asking price)
6.    Lot #6 – $865,000 (asking price)

Total – $2,555,000 (asking price revenue)

Loss of Real Property Taxes – At least $84,000 (depends on assessment of building. could be higher or lower)

Loss of sales tax revenue – Dependent on category of development. (Someone may say “we get a set amount of sales tax revenue paid to us from the county” -but if the county gets more sales tax revenue we get more and the increase in tax revenue keeps cost to the taxpayer down.)

Total cost of FREE: $2,999,000 (Loss of revenue from non-sale, costs paid for demo, loss of tax revenue)

So FREE isn’t so FREE is it?

All of these losses would be no problem if we weren’t a finically stressed municipality.

We are and we need every dollar.

It is a fact that the revenue from the sale of the above named lots will be gained when they are sold but the loss of property taxes and sales tax is lost forever.

The jobs that the development of these properties will create will come sooner or later but the lost wages from not having these jobs available will again be lost forever.

Recently a businessman told me in reference to the demolition of the Nestle site that I should just wish the city leaders “LUCK.”

I would have to disagree. That is what you wish a sports team or a person opening a new business.

It is not what you should do for someone using taxpayer money.
The city leaders must take luck and guessing out of the formula when using taxpayer money.

Last year, when our bond rating had increased the city leaders should have bonded the $3 Million it would cost to have the Nestles site cleared and shovel ready.

That would have shown ALDI how serious we are about wanting them here.

Then the sale of all the properties (and possibly money from FRB) would pay back the bond.

We would be receiving tax money both real property and sales.

We would be free of an eyesore that had been a hindrance to our progress for almost a decade.

Again, these are my thoughts and ideas for you to think about.

PS – Today’s news story:  Fulton Mayor: Aldi ‘Still on board’ – Ground Hog Day again or Deja vu all over again or did they send me a paper from two years ago.

I know you are all thinking it. I’m just saying it.

Frank Castiglia Jr.
Resident and taxpayer in the city of Fulton


  1. False Frank, your numbers are wrong. Frank admits these properties will sell so we gain $2,555,000 revenue from their sale. And Frank is still trying to convince you the City should bond $3,000,000 for a quicker demolition so we can start collecting taxes sooner. And we will use this $2,555,000 sales revenue to pay back $3,000,000 plus interest bond. Frank Castiglia will lose our Fair City $445,000 plus interest, assuming we sell every property. And sell it today, the very first day it is put on the market. I’d rather be patient and sensible with our Fair Taxpayer’s money. The demolition is progressing, though slower and more expensive than originally planned because SOMEONE who is opposed to the plan keeps anonymously calling in to the State causing harassing work stoppages, unnecessary delays and cost overruns. SOMEONE. I’m fed up with you FRANK. We’re fed up with you Frank. Please get out of the way and let the work progress as quickly as possible so Our City and Our Taxpayers and the Entire Central New York Community can benefit from this fantastic Fulton, NY project. Did you hear me? We’re fed up with you Frank. Get out of the way, we’re working here!

  2. Again you can’t comprehend what you have read. The Mayor and CC (not all i might add) say the demo is free. I just state the facts …it’s not free. People of Fulton are fed up with looking at what they are calling the New Fulton Follies…For someone worried about the taxpayers money you have no problem bonding up to almost 3,000,000 sense the Nestles project began. With out any means of gaining any revenue…..So your numbers are wrong….and the bonding isn’t done yet for the completion of the Nestle site….good luck on that one..also I stated these are just my thoughts and Ideas….your public assistance (free work,boding,money from state) plan is a poor plan.get your head out of the sand. it will help.also the sites have been on the market for over two years…waiting for the tooth fairy to clear the way. One man show isn’t going to get it done. So now who is the person/persons hiding behind “Fed up with Frank” come out come out who ever you are.

  3. One added item. The Mayor himself has stated on several occasions that he has buyers waiting for the clearing of the other sites other than ALDI…So please stop .this is just to easy…

  4. Do you not Hear me ? I am also fed up with people that focus on Frank and not the issues. So get out of your own way and focus on issue instead of attacking the person. That SOMEONE you are accusing of anonymously calling is NOT Frank Did you hear me. So don’t read the article and respond if it is not what you want to hear and think about, simply turn the page and get back to work.

  5. the old saying is so true. “There is no free lunch”. you will pay no matter what. the question you have to ask is how much, and do we really need it? think about the 24th Congressional district of New York. I am running as a write in, this November, because, I will not suck up to the rich for money. I am unknown. therefore I will not have to place them above the people of the 24th congressional district. just a though. John Jay Humphrey for the 24th congressional district of New York.

  6. Just trying to figure out the numbers here, you’re saying $230,000 for brick crushing, $130,000 for air testing, loss of property taxes $84,000, which equals $444,000. What would cost of demolition have been if we paid a company to do it when we first took possession of property last fall? Would it have exceeded the amount of $444,000? I’m not sure, this is not my area of expertise. If we truly realize $2.5 million in eventual sale of the property, obviously the sooner we have this money the better, but if some alternate demolition company had been hired at a cost in excess of $444,000, I don’t know much farther ahead we would be at this time. Here’s to hoping that the remainder of the demolition process moves quicker than it has to this point.

  7. Mr. Guyer, Right now we are further behind than we are ahead. The point was FREE wasn’t FREE and the longer it takes to demo the more money the FREE is costing us. I believe it is called ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. The process of demolition would be quicker if it were being done by more than a ONE man show. The only time anyone sees more than ONE person is when asbestos is being removed and that is a separate engineering co. most of the time it is ONE and ONE only. And I don’t think we are done with FREE costing us more or the contractor walking away leaving us with another mess. Now there is a question of are the bricks usable for fill for ALDI or not…If not what did we buy? So Mr. Guyer if you don’t think we would have been further ahead by bonding the costs to have everything cleared and ready for build and sale. I don’t know what to tell you. The gains from the employment are not in you figures at all. Why? The gains from the Sales tax revenue are not in you figures at all. Why? They are lost and never to be regained. Look ahead by looking at the present and change for the future. I and a lot of others are tired of looking at a site that looks like it has been hit by a air bombing raid. Also we are tired of hearing “ALDI still a go” and “Nestles site demo on schedule”. Everyone has a right to their opinion but city officials have been and always will be subjected to questions for their choices and when we get some business people on the CC and in the Mayors office the business decisions they make will be in question. Thank you for reading this letter.

  8. Tired of listening to negativity. I believe everyone would like you to move on Frank find something constructive to do other than negativity please I have lived here for 32 years and I am happy the city is making an attempt to do what they think is right. Keep up the work and keep on pushing for our next generation. Thank you for the effort

  9. Long time resident, I am confused by your statements about negativity. Why do you feel that stating the facts is negative. My opinion is just that my opinion. Then you tell me to keep on keeping on. I’m confused. I was born here in 1947 and only left the area for 15 yrs. so I trump your 32 by 54 yrs. thank you for reading.

  10. Long time resident, don’t misunderstand my statements back to you. It’s just that I don’t feel that statements of facts is not negative. The only people that may think it’s negative might be on the CC. The Nestle site should have been demo. ALDI should come I’m not saying this things shouldn’t happen. What I’m saying is the way it is being done doesn’t serve the people the best way. Most people agree with me.

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