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Indian River Central School District approves Eagle Ridge Phase 5 PILOT

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PHILADELPHIA — One down, two to go.

The Indian River Central School District Board of Education on Thursday became the first taxing jurisdiction to approve a three-year tax break for the fifth and final phase of the Clover Construction Co. town house development at Eagle Ridge Village, but it didn’t happen without some dissension.

The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement was approved 6-2. Vice President Thomas L. Lapp and board member Peter D. Shue voted against the plan. Board member Donald L. Brumfield was absent.

“I was under the assumption that PILOTs were to get projects off the ground and running,” said Mr. Shue, who questioned the agreement at a past meeting. “This being phase five, they should be able to support themselves.”

The PILOT still must be approved by the LeRay Town Council and the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.

The $10.5 million fifth phase of the Eagle Ridge development at Route 342 and Goulds Corners Road will include 30 two-bedroom units, 16 three-bedroom units, 46 four-bedroom units and 86 garage units with parking and recreational areas.

According to Indian River Business Manager James R. Koch, the agreement would take effect when 85 percent of the certificates of occupancy are issued.

If the PILOT is approved, Clover Construction will pay the three parties a total of $133,696 over the course of three years.

Voicing his disapproval, Mr. Lapp said he was “frustrated from the sense of entitlement” on the part of the developer for a fifth tax break for the housing development.

“I am frustrated with the whole idea to get a PILOT whether they need them or not,” he said. “Why do they need a new PILOT for each phase? For me, it got to the point where I had enough. While I knew it was going to pass, it was a vote of principle.”

Board President Frank J. Laverghetta said he was not surprised board members were divided on the issue.

“It’s a tax break,” he said. “When you give a developer a tax break, it always is an issue.”

Supporting the PILOT made sense to him, however.

“We voted on all the other ones, and I believe it’s there to bring in more military families,” Mr. Laverghetta said. “Those families will go to school in our district, and I believe we should help out Fort Drum in any way we can.”

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