Friday, January 30, 2009

Saugerties Cantine Dam and Bridge in 2001

Saugerties Cantine Dam in 2001. I took this photo in preparation for a special showing and public forum at Cafe Tamayo in the Village of Saugerties. Congressman Maurice spoke and commented in favor of the alternative ideas presented by Main Street Alliance. The drawings and presentation was prepared by David Minch and Barry Benepe, while the promotion was prepared by myself.

From campaign-ad-design
Irony, Saugerties Style

Eight years later the irony is typical of old time Saugerties politics as the former Cantine Dam property that was touted as a great place for the new Saugerties Town Hall, is now partly (Struzzieri, Mullen, Hinchey) owned by Congressman Hinchey, visa ve the Partition Street Project which plans to convert this picturesque view into a Banquet Hall and Hotel open to paying customers only... please.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

CH2M Hill Presents "Winston Farm - Public Forum"

Saugerties High School Auditorium tonight Thursday, January 29, 2009, @ 6:45pm - 9:00pm --- CH2M Hill will be presenting a "High Technology Development Community Input & Evaluation" public forum to discuss possible development plans of the Winston Farm.

Here are some recent violations or actions against CH2M Hill:

Federal Contractor Misconduct Database

DOE Cites CH2M Hill Hanford Group for Price-Anderson Violations

Hanford: Is Fast Cleanup Endangering Workers?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Questioning the Village's Sanitary

Village responds to allegations of problems at water treatment plant

According to Dock Street resident David Radovanovic, the water treatment plant is operating at near capacity, and will be unable to accommodate projects now in the planning stage. At the January 20 meeting of the village board, trustee William Murphy and wastewater superintendent Mike Marino addressed the issue. They said that although the plant has been cited numerous times by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), just one of those citations was classified as severe, and stated that the plant has the capacity to meet all planned projects at this time -- including the hotel/convention center on Partition Street and the three and half miles of new commercial hook-ups planned for Kings Highway.

At the village board meeting two weeks ago, Radovanovic produced reports from the EPA showing noncompliance at the Dock Street wastewater treatment plant for eleven of the past twelve quarters. The EPA oversees the work of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which is directly responsible for monitoring the facility.

"I checked with the DEC and these were factual findings," said Murphy. "There was only one significant noncompliance issue. Eleven were not severe. There are obviously problems we have to look into, but these are not constant problems. The main cause of the problems is infiltration and inflow, which we have been dealing with for years."

Radovanovic said that while infiltration does contribute to the problem, "other factors that are being glanced over. I'm afraid that if we hook up industrial level types of waste, there must be some type of pretreatment."

Radovanovic said that some of the cases of noncompliance were due to an elevated presence of coliform in the plant's water, which he attributed to the presence of fecal matter.

Wastewater department superintendent Mike Marino, however, pointed out that while coliform can be found in feces, it is also sometimes present in drinking water, as well as other sources. Marino also said that the coliform levels were not considered by the DEC to be high enough to constitute a case of significant noncompliance.

Marino admitted that Radovanovic's argument is correct: the Dock Street wastewater treatment plant has been found to be in noncompliance during eleven of the past twelve quarters, but that only one quarter showed a significant issue. In the first quarter of 2005, the plant showed high levels of settleable solids, and was found by the DEC to be in a state of significant noncompliance. Marino attributes this to heavy precipitation levels during the early months of 2005.

As for the other factors, Marino said the violations were modest. "What you have to understand," said Marino. "Is that if any reading on any day of the quarter is one-tenth of one percent over, the plant is considered to be noncompliant. It doesn't mean that the water is not safe."

This is how the severe violation that year played out. The plant is allowed a daily maximum of .3 mg/L settleable solids. Several days of heavy rain in January 2005 caused the maximum monthly result to come in at .8 mg/L. In February of the same year, the plant experienced another higher than normal reading of .5 mg/L of settleable solids.

According to Marino, settleable solids are materials suspended in water that will settle to the bottom over a period of time, filtering them. Most settleable solids do so within about an hour, he explained.

Radovanovic also asserted that the plant is running at near capacity, although village officials claim that there is room for growth.

"They act as though the plant was designed to take all of Saugerties. I don't think they're looking past their noses, quite frankly," said Radovanovic.

The plant is allowed a maximum capacity of 1.32 million gallons of water per day to be treated before being discharged into the Hudson River. In December 2008, Saugerties received 28.7 inches of rain and snow, and the wastewater department saw 1.05 million gallons per day pass through the facility. Marino says that the yearly average is much lower, though, usually around 800,000 gallons per day.

"We have some room for growth," said Marino. "I would like more, but there is some room there."

Marino says that the storm water separation project -- which will redirect three catch basins in the southern part of the village to empty into the Esopus Creek rather than transport storm water into the village's sewer system --will solve only a small percentage of the problem. The amount of water that passes through the plant after a heavy rain is due in large part to infiltration and inflow, often referred to as I&I.

I&I refers to water that infiltrates weaknesses in the sewer system's infrastructure. Much of this infrastructure, Marino says, is more than 100 years old and is constructed of clay tile pipes, which have developed cracks over time as the ground has shifted. Rainwater often finds its way into these cracks, causing excess water, uncontaminated water to pass through the plant. Upgrading the entire sewer system would be quite expensive, according to Marino, and the village is in the process of seeking grant monies in order to accomplish this without placing the burden on the taxpayers.

"Mr. Radovanovic has a valid point," said Marino. "We do have a system that is in need of maintenance."

"We will continue to find things to try to help it," said Murphy. "Overall, to accept growth we have to continue to do these little things."

Although the village wastewater treatment plant has never received a fine or penalty of any kind from either the DEC or the EPA, Radovanovic attributed this to the workload facing these agencies rather than a sign that the village wastewater plant is conforming to expectations.

"The reality is that these guys [at the EPA and DEC] are completely overwhelmed with the amount of work that they have. The pick the worst ones to go after," said Radovanovic.

The next meeting of the village board will be held on Monday, February 2, at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall.

Full article at UlsterPublishing:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nanny Goat Hill

Nanny Goat Hill, the rock promontory between Montgomery and Dock Streets, is a familiar and significant landmark in the history of the Village of Saugerties. From atop its rugged heights the Esopus Creek can be seen to the south and east as it wends its way to the Hudson River. To the west Mount Marion and Overlook Mountain are visible. It is precisely because of its commanding views that Nanny Goat Hill qualified as the official Saugerties Ground Operation Defense Post during the early years of the Cold War and also as the local base for Operation Sky Watch - code name BRAVO NOVEMBER ZERO ZERO BLACK overseen by the United States Air Force. As a scenic overlook it has been used by generations of Saugerties citizens. Its beauty has been an inspiration for the poetic. Its long history evokes sentiments that abide in the hearts of those who remember.

Nanny Goat Hill, with its clear and unobstructed view of the sky, proved to be of strategic importance duringWorldWar II and the ColdWar. Because of limited radar detection capability at that time, the United States Air Force formed the Ground Observation Corps (GOC), made up of civilian volunteers whose mission was to visually search the skies for enemy aircraft attempting to penetrate American airspace. Joseph Sinnott, renowned cartoonist who was born near Nanny Goat Hill in 1926, well remembers the observation post built atop ‘the hill’ during World War II. His cousin, Rita Gordon Gavigan, of Montross Street, served in the GOC and spent many long hours as a citizen sentinel watching the skies over Saugerties.

During WorldWar II, Montgomery Street in Saugerties held the unique distinction of having the greatest number of young men and women serving in the Armed Forces from the village. In 1944 Frank P. Hughes (1916-1997), a Montgomery Street resident, conceived the idea of creating an honor roll to be erected on Nanny Goat Hill as a tribute to the young women and men in service from Montgomery Street. The honor roll was built by William Ribsamen. Hughes, a talented artist, painted the memorial. The six foot by three and a half foot tablet contained twenty-three names. Above the names Hughes painted a picture of Uncle Sam. On either side of the names two streamers of red, white, and blue extended the full length of the roll. On a Sunday afternoon in May of 1944 a ceremony was held on Nanny Goat Hill before a large number of residents, marking the unveiling and dedication of the honor roll. The grounds around the roll were meticulously landscaped with flowers and shrubbery. Edmund U. Burhans, a member of Lamouree-Hackett Post, No. 72,American Legion, was master of ceremonies. Reverend Ray E. Kulman of the Atonement Lutheran Church offered the invocation; Joseph M. Campbell delivered the address in which he voiced the hope that those on the home front would begin to prepare for rehabilitating and caring for the returning soldiers. The benediction was given by Rev. Edmund Harty of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.

On July 14th 1952 the United States Air Force initiated a civilian volunteer program known as Operation Sky Watch in which the volunteer Ground Observation Corps manned defense posts 24 hours a day in search of enemy air craft. During the summer of 1952, under Operation Sky Watch, Larry Campanella, the Saugerties Observation Post supervisor, reported that there were over 100 volunteers at the Nanny Goat Hill Post. An average of 37 planes a day was reported in July. In September of 1952 Saugerties Observation Post Spotters, Mrs. William Plimley and Mrs. Douglas Robinson, on duty at Nanny Goat Hill, reported a strange set of lights of extreme brilliance over the eastern sky. The colored lights were reported to have formed a rough piewedge pattern. John Hilton, who was the Ulster County Assistant Air Post Coordinator, and who lived onWest Bridge Street in Saugerties, had also witnessed the strange lights. The Spotters immediately telephoned the Ground Observer Corp Filter Center at White Plains and an investigation by the United States Air Force ensued. A subsequent spotting several days later of the same lights intensified the investigation by the Air Force but no information was divulged as to what it was. Similar strange sightings were reported during Operation Sky Watch.

During the 1950’s the threat of a Communist attack on American soil was at its height. Saugerties, like many communities across the United States, organized a civil-defense unit, purchased sirens and emergency equipment, and simulated blackouts to test evacuation procedures. Local citizen Ben Sanford was the Saugerties Civil Defense Director. Some Saugerties residents, including Warren H. Knaust, built bomb shelters and stocked up on canned goods. President Eisenhower called upon the nation to observe a week in September 1956 as Civil DefenseWeek. Arthur F. Simmons,Mayor of the Village of Saugerties, heeded the call and issued a Civil Defense Week Proclamation that year stating, “…the maintenance of peace and, as an alternative, personal and national survival in the event of enemy attack are of paramount interest to the citizens of Saugerties…”

The Saugerties Civil Defense program included a Ground Observation Corps made up of men, women, and teenage volunteers. An official observation post was manned atop Nanny Goat Hill, where volunteer observers reported all planes sighted and all planes which were heard but not seen. Suspicious air traffic was reported to a filter center where a worker plotted it on a map. When the track was established, the information was forwarded to the Air Defense Direction Center, where the decision to scramble interceptor aircraft for identification purposes was made.

From 1953 to 1956 Rita Gordon Gavigan, known as the ‘voice of Saugerties’ because of her daily radio broadcasts, headed up the Saugerties Ground Observer Corp and fiercely rallied local volunteers. She once announced, “Ladies and gentlemen you are wanted on the phone! No, not the phone in your own home but one in the Air Defense Observation Post on Nanny Goat Hill!” Many answered the call and in the months of November and December of 1955 one-hundred and sixteen volunteers served. The Saugerties Ground Observer Corp was funded by the State, County and local government and was responsible for purchasing such items as binoculars, electric fans and heaters for the post. Even a refrigerator had been installed to keep the milk cold for use in the coffee the Spotters needed when on night duty. The Air Force responsibility to the observation post was to train observers, supply administrative forms, install and pay telephone bills, and help supervise the operation. Initially, training emphasized memorizing the shapes of the engine, wings, fuselage, and tail of a plane. Later, it was decided that learning an airplane’s overall configuration was more effective. To raise funds to support the Nanny Goat Hill observation post, the Saugerties Ground Observer Corp held a benefit movie at the local Orpheum Theater titled “The Kiss of Fire” with Jack Palance and Barbara Rush plus a sensational short, “24 Hour Alert” starring Jack Webb.

In 1956 the Saugerties observation tower on Nanny Goat Hill was remodeled. The original wooden “shack” was faced with brick by local mason Connie Lynch and new equipment was placed inside. During the summer months Saugerties teenagers helped out as observers while adults were on vacation. In July and August 1956 Jo Ann Scala, Winnie Canger, Jimmy Whitehead, Georgie King, Johnnie Burns, Walter Johnson, Joe Buytkins, Joe Sweeney, Bonnie Miller, Sue Reynolds, Tom Mahoney, Bruce Freligh, Charlott Ann Bell, Judy Genthner, Bruce Ormany, Joe Brackett, Jane Granwehr. Roland Mayone, Louis Abrams, Roland Gambino and Bud Peter all proudly participated as spotters. A local housewife, Dixie Bond, managed to spot aircraft with her two children on hand. Miriam Nitchke was said to have had a fine time her first day of duty alone. Rita Gavigan reported that, “Everything flew over except a weather balloon!” Richard Overbagh and his entire family signed on for “Operation Skywatch”. Sate Keenan, who acted as Chief Observer and Evelyn Longendyke, Assistant Chief Observer in Saugerties, also put in many long hours atop “the Hill”.

Perhaps one of the most significant awards that Saugerties has ever received was from General E. E. Partridge, Commander in Chief, Continental Air Defense Command. The award, issued in 1956, honored the Saugerties Ground Observer Corps for their voluntary support of the Air Defense of the United States. Rita Gavigan, received an individual honor from the United States Air Force for her untiring efforts as leader of the Saugerties Ground Observer Corps. A formal citation presentation was held at the Observation Post atop Nanny Goat Hill.

The name Nanny Goat Hill brings to mind the question of how the name was derived. Edward Leonard Sinnott, (1897- 1958), who lived near Nanny Goat Hill, reminisced to his son, Joe, of the goats that grazed on its rugged terrain. This observation is certainly a reasonable theory of how the name originated. The transcendent appeal of Nanny Goat Hill echoes through the ages. On its rock face the carved initials of Edward Sinnott and his best friend Lorenz Loerzel, (whose father owned the brewery on the corner of Partition and Clermont Street), were etched in 1908 when they were both twelve years old. Love of this rocky promontory was perhaps most profoundly expressed by Saugerties own poet-philosopher of Nanny Goat Hill, John Hughes Kerbert, born in 1854, who lived on Montgomery Street. In 1941 the beloved eighty-seven year old Kerbert was interviewed at home by a young college student collecting the wise man’s lore. It was said that as he sat in his room, gazing at Nanny Goat Hill, he was content reminiscing events from the past. He was quoted as stating “there are people all over the world who come back to visit the scene of many of their happiest hours at Nanny Goat Hill.” To the casual observer, he noted, it was only another cliff. To the native though, the mention of its name hearkened “childhood and playing at adventures among its caves, youth, and moonlight walks, watching boats on the river, picnics, and ballgames.” So enchanted was John Kerbert with Nanny Goat Hill that he penned this poem dedicated to it:

The Isles of Enchantment are pictured in story And wonders discovered are prized and admired In lands near and far are great proofs of God’s glory Of things that attract us we never grow tired Now to me who have seldom had chance to behold them God’s wondrous Earth gifts or man’s works of skill There are few sights I fancy or scenes give more pleasure Than sunlight at morning on Nanny Goat Hill.
I’ve watched it from childhood and Life’s page unrolling Unchanging glad greeting to many it gives And the health giving breezes that constant blow o’er it Recall to me visions in memory lives The kite flying season and old fashioned ball game The crowd’s come to look at the old Iron Mill The tale telling Elders and Love making youngsters I can see them again on old Nanny Goat Hill.
The days of my youth I so carelessly squandered But little of value they seemed to me then Ambition oft thwarted brings feelings of Rancor And apathy rules o’er the doings of men As the old Hill bid welcome and oft times I wonder Though changes are great to my memory still It appeared the one spot where all cares were abandoned As we herded the cows upon Nanny Goat Hill.
I still am enjoying the gentle breeze blowing O’er the hilltop as summer day’s draw to a close And bright golden sunshine is bathing in splendor As it did at the morn when it silently rose Now the day of fast travel and long distance speeding With pleasure long hours for many may fill Content I remain with my bygone reflections As I gaze from my window on Nanny Goat Hill.

Today there is little physical evidence at Nanny Goat Hill to indicate its importance during wartime over a half-century ago. Gone is the memorial to the men and women who served their country during World War II. The Air Spotters building, where Saugerties citizens selflessly dedicated years of steadfast vigil to protect their homeland, has been torn down. What remains, apart from the still magnificent views its heights afford, are the sweet recollections of yesteryear best found in the words of John Hughes Kerbert “There are few sights I fancy or scenes give more pleasure -Than sunlight at morning on Nanny Goat Hill.”

-- Karlyn Knaust Elia

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saugerties Overtime Database

Check out the overtime of Saugerties Town Police in 2007. Click link above.

Saugerties Payroll Database

Check the payroll for over 39,000 public payroll records, including Saugerties. Click Title above.

Cantine Dam "Unsafe"

Diamond Mills Paper Company Dam, Town of Saugerties

Year built: 1929

Owner: Leading Edge Developers LLC

In 1978, the dam was classified "unsafe because of serious structural deficiencies" by the Army Corps. Spillway and outlet issues were corrected and the "unsafe" determination was reversed in 1980.

In 1986, a DEC investigation observed that steel and timber was "damaged" and the dam's "competency was doubtful." Similar findings were recorded in 2005.

To date, dam owner has failed to provide maintenance or emergency action plans. "Since December 2005, respondent failed to operate and maintain Diamond Mills Dam in a safe condition," the DEC said.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Main & Partition

Main & Partition
Originally uploaded by Del.Higgins
Village of Saugerties' many turn-of-the-century buildings makes this Hudson River Valley historic business district a gem worth fighting for. Presently the Peter Lawrence Building, this brick building once served as a department store, ice cream parlor and presently is home for The Inquiring Minds Bookstore and Muddy Cup coffee house. Its atmosphere is very laid back with events happening just about every night, like live music, poetry readings and meeting space for all types of local organizations.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bait and Switch

Residents question design of Partition Street Project -- by Heather Plonchak

David Radovanovic approached the Saugerties Village Board last Monday, and he was not happy.

Radovanovic, who lives on Dock Street, asserted that significant changes to the proposed 30-unit hotel and 400-seat convention center and restaurant have been made since it was first announced in 2007, noting that they came after the project received a $780,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corporation.

"The original proposal included retail space, a kayak launch, and public access to the creek," said Radovanovic. "It was actually a wonderful design. Then, all of a sudden, at the planning board meeting, there's a new plan, which is completely different. It's really kind of upsetting because the majority of the space is going to be used for parking."

Radovanovic also said that developers made it clear at the December meeting of the Village Planning Board that no public access to the lower Esopus Creek will be available on the site, though it was promised during the conceptual planning stages. He also cited the plan to level Nanny Goat Hill -- the historic and picturesque rocky outcropping on Dock Street opposite the site -- to create an overflow parking lot.

"I wanted this project to happen so that it would benefit the community," said Radovanovic. "I have an investment in this community and I don't want to be run over. It's a shame that folks like myself have to get all up in arms about this but, I'm afraid that there will be very little oversight if we don't look closely at this."

Radovanovic also raised environmental concerns, noting that the area surrounding the former Barclay's Dam falls within a Scenic Area of Statewide Significance, according to a report published by the New York Department of State in 1993. He said the project would violate many points within the waterfront advisory committee's policy book, including scenic quality policies.

Other environmental concerns include fish and wildlife disturbance in a recognized estuary. Reading from a publication by the DEP, Radovanovic said, "The Esopus Creek, entering the Hudson River, is a tributary for spawning habitat for herrings and over wintering areas for black bass species, just to name a few. It is determined that there are six wintering sites that are extremely important or critical to the maintenance of the Hudson River black bass stocks, including Esopus Creek."

He continued, asserting that, "The Partition Street Project will have an adverse affect on this recognized estuary and historically significant resource, if permitted as indicated in the current plans."

Radovanovic is also concerned with the amount of additional wastewater that will be generated from the facility, claiming that the plant is already processing more than it can handle. According to Radovanovic, reports from the DEC show the plant operating in a non-complaint stage during 11 of the 12 quarters in the past three years.

Rosemary Brackett reiterated Radovanovic's concerns over the loss of a scenic location, and stressed her own feelings about the proposed blasting of Nanny Goat Hill.

"Keep in mind that the people of the community do not want Nanny Goat Hill destroyed for the sake of a parking lot," said Brackett. "There is no going back; once it's destroyed, its gone forever."

Mayor Yerick was unavailable for comment, though he has previously stated that questions surrounding the project will be asked and that answers will be required during the public hearing phase. He has said the project may be modified to meet public concerns, although it is important for the local economy that the project comes to fruition. He has also stated that the water treatment plant has enough capacity to accommodate the development.

Sewer separation, wall restoration plans move forward

One plan to alleviate the workload of the wastewater plant may become a reality this spring. According to special assignments officer Alex Wade, the state has approved the anticipated storm water separation project and a call for bids will go out this week Work on this project will be done concurrently with the retaining wall stabilization in order to avoid multiple disruptions to the area of 9W and Valley Street.

Storm water separation involves the rerouting of storm water collection drains, to allow the rainwater to flow directly into the Esopus Creek. Currently, all storm water is transported to the Dock Street wastewater treatment plant, where it is combined and treated with sewer water before being released. This level of treatment isn't necessary, and leads to increased expenses for the plant due to wear and tear on the equipment. Though most of the village storm water system was separated 15 years ago, a portion under Route 9W stretching from just north of the Esopus Creek Bridge to the Dragon Inn has been repeated delayed due to the logistics of coordinating the project with the state DOT and other ongoing projects. (In the old days, when water wasn't treated, everything went down the same pipe and the village relied on heavy rains to clean out the pipes.)

Wade also reported that the village has received a set of semi-final working drawings for the proposed wall stabilization project along Church Street/9W. The DOT is awaiting comments from village officials before finalizing the plans. Anyone interested in viewing the drawings is welcome to contact Wade, who will act as an interpreter to translate the technical language on the drawings into layman's terms.

"The plans are quite complicated and a bit difficult to understand. I will do my best to explain the drawings to any concerned citizens," said Wade.

In other business

After a holiday reprieve from parking fees, the village installed new meters earlier this month. Hourly rates have increased from 10 to 50 cents, with new meters accepting only quarters. Fees for parking violations within the village of Saugerties have also increased, from the current five dollars per ticket to twenty dollars per ticket, and police are expected to step up enforcement policies. Parking meters must be used between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, with Sundays and evenings remaining free.

The four trustees present at Monday's meeting unanimously voted to extend the contract for grant writer Victor Cornelius of Endeavors, Inc. The village will pay Cornelius a retainer fee of $6,000 and will compensate him at a rate of 3 percent of any grant monies received as a result of his efforts. According to village clerk Mary Frank, this compensation is standard; including in grants as an administrative fee.

Petitions are available for anyone wishing to run in the 2009 village election, to be held on March 18. Village candidates typically run in independent parties, such as the New Vision Party. Candidates wishing to continue this tradition must turn in their petitions to the village clerk no later than February 10. Should a candidate wish to run on a national party line, petitions must be filed by January 29. The difference in dates is attributed to policies governing national parties, which differ from the election guidelines set forth in village law. The position of mayor comes before voters this year, as do the seats currently held by trustees Michael Karashay, Suzanne LeBlanc and William Murphy.

The next meeting of the village board will be held on Monday, January 19 at village hall.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

“It’s Time to End New York State’s Empire Zone Program”

Citizens Budget Commission releases its report entitled “It’s Time to End New York State’s Empire Zone Program”. Saugerties has its share of businesses (Partial List of Companies that Benefit from Empire Zone Program ) which benefit in what amounts to $582 million taxpayers money. The American Candle Factory is just one of several Saugerties businesses that have failed to live up to the program's original intent. At taxpayers expense, businesses have been given tax relief and benefits from a program that most experts have called a "gross failure". Fully 70 percent of the businesses receiving tax breaks in these Zones failed to meet the job creation targets they set when they were certified to join the program. A 2007 assessment of New York State’s economic development apparatus conducted by AT Kearney, the management consulting firm, concluded:
“Of all of the programs examined here New York’s Empire Zones program provides perhaps the best example of good economic development intentions gone wrong. Its original mission has been morphed by political patronage, legislative revision and commercial manipulation, effectively repositioning it from a program primarily helping distressed communities to one routinely offering tax relief for ongoing businesses.”
Let's look at some of the companies that have received Empire Zone Credits in 2006:
  • WalMart Stores $ 2,376,570.00
  • Berkshire Hathaway (Geico) 19,549,900
  • International Business Machines 31,700,000
  • Home Depot 4,128,125
  • Costco Wholesale 31,238
  • Target 4,545,075
  • Walgreen 144,415
  • United Parcel Service 1,896,508
  • Lowe's Home Centers 15,947,647
  • Lockheed Martin 5,662,787
  • PepsiCo 115,500
  • FedEx 542,509
  • Sysco 132,300
  • Hartford Financial Services 875,625
  • Washington Mutual 701,032
  • 3M 400,574
  • CocaCola Enterprises 106,200
  • Staples 1,095,000
  • Nucor Steel 6,130,000
  • Kohl's 1,989,320
  • Bank of New York Mellon Corp. 1,357,005
  • General Mills 629,991
  • Family Dollar Stores 20,175
  • NRG Energy 20,222,810
  • Corning 6,233,259
  • RadioShack 13,125
  • Dick's Sporting Goods 155 34,875
  • American Axle and Manufacturing 72,724
  • Tiffany 496,020
  • Amphenol 605,000
Failing to Meet Economic Development Goals The Empire Zone program is failing to meet economic development goals. Audits by the State Comptroller have shown that job creation fails to meet targets; recent efforts by ESD to improve the administration of the program have revealed high failure rates among firms at meeting investment as well as employment goals.
"".. when legislative leaders attempt to fix the program, their actions succeed only in opening new loopholes as they close the old ones. As AT Kearney reported, “….the program has spawned cottage industry of lawyers and consultants specializing in helping businesses optimize benefits.”Top Ten Credit Per Job Claims by Firm, 2006:
Company Name Credits of Jobs
Location Job
Flat Rock Wind Power LLC $5,582,349 2 Lewis County $2,791,175
NRG Energy Inc. $6,602,043 3 City Of Dunkirk, Towns Of Dunkirk & Sheridan $2,200,681
257 W. Genesee LLC $1,258,995 1 Buffalo $1,258,995
Riverside Enterprises LLC $1,162,193 1 Utica $1,162,193
728 East Realty Corp. $967,211 1 Port Morris, Bronx $967,211
NRG Energy Inc. $7,382,035 9 Oswego $820,226
Greece Town Mall LP $3,184,595 4 Monroe County $796,149
NRG Energy Inc. $6,238,732 8 Town Of Tonawanda $779,842
Manhatten Nursing Home Realty Inc. $692,261 1 East Harlem, New York $692,261
BuffaloMain Street LLC $624,271 1 Onondaga County $624,271
Ulster Business Complex LLC $1,230,711 2 City Of Kingston, Town Of Ulster $615,356