Yesterday evening the Greater Newburgh Partnership gave a presentation at the Powelton Club in Balmville regarding their plans, followed by a brief presentation by the Newburgh Community Land Bank. While a focus on fundraising was downplayed, securing donations for the GNP was one of the purposes of the event, with individual folders on the tables including a range of “investment opportunities” from “Newburgh Society” donors of $20,000 receiving a seat on the GNP board, to “Not-for-Profit Partner” donors of $1,000 receiving a listing on the website.
The GNP is a nonprofit, with investors including Central Hudson, Cosimo’s Restaurant Group, Hudson Valley SPCA, Laborers International Union of North America, NY Security Systems, Inc, Mount Saint Mary College, Perreca Electric Co. Inc, Safe Harbors of the Hudson, St. Luke’s Corwnall Hospital, SUNY Orange, Unitex Textile Rental Services, and Visconti Limousine.
The planned expenditures of the GNP include a paid community watch program; enhanced lighting in collaboration with Central Hudson; and additional security cameras and monitoring. An additional project is the “Greening of Broadway,” in which the lot on the corner of Broadway and Johnston Street (locally known as Carchietta’s lot, although it is now owned by the City) will be cleared and greened by the end of the month.
Allan Aztrott gave the initial presentation regarding the GNP, followed by Councilman Curlie Dillard who spoke briefly and introduced City Fire Chief Mike Vatter, who serves on the Newburgh Community Land Bank. Unlike the Greater Newburgh Partnership, the NCLB is a creation of the City of Newburgh and has direct ties to the government of the city in terms of its functioning and board membership, although it is also a nonprofit. It was created with the guidance and assistance of the Pace Land Use Law Center.
The audience was then given a few minutes to talk as tables and come up with questions. Mr. Aztrott then concluded the presentation by answering the questions and fielding some to other members of the audience.
One question was whether the hospital and other nonprofits could give payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, to the City of Newburgh. The city is under extreme financial hardship with severe cuts anticipated. Many of the GNP anchor institutions, such as the hospital and Mount Saint Mary College, are wealthy businesses but pay no taxes to help defray the cost of city services because they are tax-exempt.
In responding to the PILOTs question, Aztrott said the hospital pays $22 M for free medical care, and that this is part of their contribution to the city. He also floated the idea of the hospital creating two tax rateable properties, and did not entirely rule out the possibility of a PILOT and some future point in time.
The presentation will be repeated on Thursday, November 3, at 5 p.m. at the Powelton Club.
Video of presentation below may be downloaded here.