For the betterment of our city and regional partners, I'm calling for an immediate pause to the current annexation proceeding.
This pause will avoid certain litigation but should also be combined with a non-binding agreement with our Town of Plattsburgh partners that outlines reasonable and measurable goals that will ultimately lead to a mutually beneficial annexation in the future.
Our resources are precious and wasting them in court rather than investing in our beaches, parks, and paths is not the way to improve our city.
During the near 2hr required public hearing on the annexation held on Thursday, Sept. 24th it became abundantly clear that our city is currently in no position to proceed with annexation. Our concern isn't whether or not we can provide city services to this site, but rather the process has severely lacked the proper procedure, partnership, and plan to ensure our City's and our partner's mutually beneficial success.
Furthermore, all impacted taxing jurisdictions need a seat at the table. According to the state laws outlining the annexation process, the current proceedings WILL lead to more litigation and court expenses for our city. Our resources are precious and wasting them in court rather than investing in our beaches, parks, and paths is not the way to improve our city.
The path forward first starts with a more inclusive approach to developing our comprehensive master plan. This plan, and the ability for our entire community to contribute, will also help define how to proceed with the Rugar street property. Future plans should also include our regional partners: the TDC, Chamber, ESD, local developers, Clinton County, and Town of Plattsburgh - All of whom I've spent the last five years working on key economic development projects throughout the city and county with great success.
A successful plan would include ensuring the property be serviced by our professionally staffed fire and police and the infrastructure services of PMLD, providing the lowest industrial electricity rates available anywhere in the world and our water and sewer service is the best in the region.
Ultimately this approach will build a path to exit the litigation and annexation process, but lead us to a binding MOU that would create the necessary surety needed by developers to make an investment with expectation of annexation upon commitment of development investment. This path clearly ensures the mutually beneficial results under which the 200+ acres can be promoted for development and brought onto our tax roles in the future.