IDA says no to tax breaks for Byrne Dairy project

NORWICH – The Chenango County Industrial Development Agency voted this morning to deny tax concessions to a local convenience store wanting to relocate and expand in the city.

“I really can’t be in favor (of granting the request),” IDA Board Member William Ballard, who voted “nay” on the proposal to grant Byrne Dairy’s parent company, Sonbyrne Sales Inc., a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement as well as sales tax exemptions for construction materials associated with the $1.9 million project. The expansion would include construction of a new 7,000 square foot facility on the corner of Silver and East Main streets, 4,000 square feet of which would be a convenience store and self-service gas station, and the remaining 3,000 a coin-operated laundromat.

The decision came this morning following Wednesday night’s hour-long public hearing, held in the chambers of the city’s Common Council where approximately two dozen city residents and officials gathered to voice their opinions on the proposed project.

“I think it (would) set a precedent,” Ballard said, explaining his opposition was based on the retail nature of the project, which he said he felt fell outside the scope of the IDA’s authority. His sentiments were echoed by fellow board members Thomas Knapp and Randy Mohr, who also voted against granting the tax concessions.

Knapp also registered his concerns regarding the net impact on jobs over time, in relation to other established businesses in proximity to the proposed location with which the Byrne Dairy store would be in direct competition.

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