To the Editor:
In our present village, we have a number of contrasts. For instance, after five years, we have an unfinished $1 million dam (probably $3 million by now) still sitting there that has not generated as much electricity as one lightening bug in my back yard. All of which is due to the bungling of our village government, starting back in 2007.
On the other hand, SUNY Potsdam began building a 41 million dollar Performing Arts Center just a little over a year ago, and it has been roaring along at a record-breaking pace. Do not believe it? No wonder, it gets very little publicity, but one day will draw thousands of people to our village and the SUNY campus -maybe as soon as next year. It is a model of building efficiency. Check it out. You will be amazed.
Then, finally, there is the proposed housing development right next door to the SUNY campus on Main Street that would help all of us with our tax base. Where is it going? Nowhere, because a few selfish people do not want to see it happen, and have persuaded some of our elected officials into their school of thought notably our Potsdam Town Board and our Potsdam School Board. So where will this go? SUNY Potsdam has a booming school population, they need extra housing and have already built townhouses; but that may only be the tip of an iceberg. Sooner or later, they will probably buy more property close to the school (Main Street), build more dorms, more townhouses, and rent really nice accommodations to students at prices far lower than the private rentals today. That will do two things it could destroy absentee landlords, and it would further burden we taxpayers because it would all be added to our tax exempt property --in other words, added on to the 70 percent that is already tax-exempt.
Is there no one in the village or town governments who will wake up to what development can mean to our tax base and what it could mean to the property taxpayer, or does no one really care? Village, wake up and sell your water and sewer to developments in the town outside our precious village limits make money and keep our rates down. Town, get real, let the village have its development, and save your own tax base along with theirs. Come on, let us all work together.
Dick Hutchinson, Potsdam