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Brockport School Board Votes Yes on Clinton Street Revitalization

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Last night, the Brockport Central School District Board of Education voted 4-3 to approve a tax exemption for the historic Whiteside, Barnett & Co. Agricultural Works Building at 60 Clinton Street in Brockport.

The Real Property Tax Law RPTL § 421-m program provides a tax exemption for certain new or substantially rehabilitated multiple dwellings from local taxation. It is applicable at the option of a city, town or village (“municipality”) or a special benefit area within such a municipality.

Because of its location on the banks of the Erie Canal, the Whiteside, Barnett building is the key to revitalizing the entire Clinton Street neighborhood. But the cost is prohibitive, so the entire project will grind to a halt without the tax exemption.

Yesterday’s vote is step two in a critical three-step process. The Village of Brockport has already granted the tax exemption, so after last night’s vote; the only thing that still needs to be done is for the Town of Sweden to join Brockport and the school district in granting the RPTL 421m exemption.

So the fate of the attempt to revitalize Brockport’s Erie Canal waterfront now rest in the hands of the five people on the Sweden Town Council: Town Supervisor Robert A. Carges, Deputy Supervisor Robert Muesebeck, and Councilpersons Rebecca Donohue, Donald Roberts, and Danielle Windus-Cook.

The Sweden Town Council’s next meeting is at 7 PM on January 28, 2014 at the Town Hall, 18 State Street in Brockport.

People can go to the meeting to voice their support for the rehabilitation project, or they can call the Town of Sweden (585) 637-7588.

People can also send an email to Rob Carges supervisor@townofsweden.org. To email any of the Town Council members, send your email to leisas@townofsweden.org.

When a historic property is rotting and falling down, everybody loses. The neighborhood around the historic property deteriorates, the property falls off the tax rolls, and the downward spiral begins. It’s the classic story of urban decay.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

All it takes to change things is for the Sweden Town Council to vote yes to approve a tax exemption for the historic Whiteside, Barnett & Co. Agricultural Works Building at 60 Clinton Street in Brockport.

The Whiteside, Barnett & Co. Agricultural Works Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The idea of granting the tax exemption is to save that building before it falls into the Erie Canal?

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