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Massena Central School Board withdraws SeaComm PILOT request

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MASSENA - A motion made by the Massena Central School Board of Education in January to table a request by SeaComm Federal Credit Union for a payment in lieu of taxes was resurrected this week.

But it wasn’t to approve it. Instead, the board voted to withdraw the motion at the request of SeaComm.

The PILOT would not have taken effect even if the school board had elected to approve it. It needed to be approved by three entities - the school district, the town of Massena and the village of Massena - and village trustees had already rejected it during a recent meeting.

SeaComm had sought the pilot as it begins the process of expanding its 30 Stearns St. location, a move that would consolidate all operations under one roof and close the downtown branch and the call center.

Some school board members had questioned why the PILOT was necessary during their January meeting.Board President John R. Boyce had noted that, with or without the PILOT approval, SeaComm would go ahead with the expansion and it would simply delay the process slightly. His concern, he said, was that the district would be deprived of much-needed revenue during the PILOT period.

SeaComm had asked for a 10-year PILOT agreement, with 90 percent abatement on the improved value of real property for the first five years after its completion, and 50 percent of what taxes would otherwise be on the improved value of real property for years six through 10. They would be taxed at 100 percent after 10 years.

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