by Michele Collins
April 5 city council meeting
Hudson City Council voted 4-2, with one abstention, to authorize a Community Reinvestment Area agreement for the development of a medical office building at 231 Seasons Rd.
The agreement, between the city and UYS Properties LLC and Anchor Seasons Road Owner LLC, gives the companies a 50% property tax exemption for 15 years. The next step for the project to move forward is installation of a waterline at Seasons Road. A resolution for the waterline received a second reading at the council meeting and is slated for a council vote at the April 18 meeting.
There was some discussion on tabling the CRA resolution amid concerns over the city’s funding of the waterline along with the abatement.
“If both the waterline and tax exemption are given, the city doesn’t break even on this project for 17 years,” said council member Skyler Sutton.
Council member Kate Schlademan disagreed with tabling the resolution.
“I believe it is the third reading on this resolution and we should act,” she said. “I am going to support this resolution.”
Council member Nicole Kowalski said she would “like to see this medical office come to Hudson.”
Economic Development Director Jim Stiffler told council that the average wage for this type of facility was close to $100,000 and that a medical facility brings the highest income tax revenue to the city. He added that the proposed Seasons Road waterline would serve as many as 25 other properties in that area and “protect our southern border,” from other water departments encroaching on it.
Stifler also noted that about 75 cents of every $1 collected in local property taxes goes to the city school district.
Several council members suggested talking with the Hudson City School Board and superintendent to see if a 50% split on the remaining tax revenue proceeds from project could be agreed upon. Stifler said in the past “the school district has worked well with the city on these measures.”
Schlademan, Kowalski, President Chris Foster and council member Karen Heater voted in favor of the CRA. Sutton and council member Chris Banweg voted against it, and council member Beth Bigham abstained.
In other business, council unanimously passed an ordinance strengthening the city’s codified ordinance related to public nuisances, such as weeds or tall grass. The ordinance allows the city to charge property owners for the cost of bringing a property into compliance – like mowing – should a property be in violation and the owner fails to act.
Sutton said that he believes “your property rights end where my property rights begin;” however, he cautioned the city to not be over aggressive in their use of this new provision.
Foster said he felt the modifications brought Hudson’s code in line with the state’s public nuisance ordinances.
Council also passed a resolution authorizing the purchase of a property owned by Joan Ann Stores Support Center Inc., to be used for a future public works facility. The parcel is across the street from Case-Barlow Farm. The city will pay $660,000 for the land. ∞