By Lauren Zeugner
SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Town Council passed three resolutions during a special meeting Thursday morning, June 4, as the preliminary start to Polywood’s $12 million expansion. Polywood intends to purchase the property where the current Harold Schrock Athletic Complex is located and build a 300,000 to 400,000 square foot building for manufacturing.
The first resolution approved creating a new tax increment finance district that would include the new building, tax abatement for both real and personal property for 10 years and transfer of the property to Polywood.
Dennis Otten, Bose McKinney and Evans, attorney’s working with the town on this project, explained the declaratory resolution would create a new tax increment finance district known as the Syracuse-Polywood TIF.
Revenue collected from the TIF would be used to pay bonds that will be sold to fund the new ball field which is proposed to be located at Black Walnut Farm on Kern Road.
Once the redevelopment commission passed the resolution, it will need to be presented to the Area Plan Commission and the Syracuse Town Council for approval before coming back to the Syracuse Redevelopment Commission for a public hearing.
The next resolution the redevelopment commission passed authorized the sale of bonds and bond anticipation notes for the new ballpark and for road improvements in the Syracuse Industrial Park. Higgins explained the commission thought a bank would purchase the bonds which are not to exceed $2,850,000 and the BANS which are not to exceed $1 million.
The Bonds and BANS would be guaranteed by Polywood and no other town funds would be used to back the bonds.
Syracuse Town Council President Paul Stoelting asked why there was a $1 million limit on the BANS. Jim Higgins of London Witte, the town’s accounting firm, explained that was the limit set for the ballpark. The thought is the initial BANS will be used for the new ballpark then next year bonds will be issued for the road improvement work.
Town Manager Mike Noe asked for clarification regarding the $1.5 million budget for the ballpark. Where does the $500,000 from Polywood come in? Otten explained Polywood agreed to contribute $500,000 along with the bonds. If the park costs more than $1.5 million the town will have to come up with the extra money.
Stoelting asked about the $2.85 million in bonds based on the estimate of the road improvements and construction of the new ballpark. He asked what happens if the road improvement costs less and the ballpark costs more? Otten said the bonds are on a draw basis.
The commission approved the resolution to create a new TIF district and sell bonds and BANS.
The last resolution the commission approved was to approve the transfer of real estate and to amend the economic development agreement between the town and Polywood.
The resolution outlined how the town will transfer the property the current ballpark is located on to the redevelopment commission. Otten explained the redevelopment commission has special powers granted by the state which gives it greater flexibility to transferring land.
The amendment to the economic development agreement was to refer to Polywood as “P.W. Reality LLC or any affiliates thereof” in all legal documents going forward.