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Islamic Center may lose bid to buy Schenectady site

City fears losing taxes on Brandywine lot

Concrete barriers now surround the former Brandywine Avenue School lot at the corner of Brandywine Avenue and Becker Street in Schenectady Wednesday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Concrete barriers now surround the former Brandywine Avenue School lot at the corner of Brandywine Avenue and Becker Street in Schenectady Wednesday.
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The Afghan Islamic Center’s bid to buy the former Brandywine School property may be denied because the church would not have to pay taxes. City officials said they wanted to sell the large lot on Brandywine Avenue to a tax-paying owner. The property disposition committee began considering the proposals last week. Even some City Council members said they would prefer to collect taxes on the lot, although they had been sympathetic when mosque members appealed ...


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comments

kelleher1025
June 3, 2013
9:58 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

A few months ago, I was contacted by a member of the mosque regarding the fact that the city was approached about this property to utilize it for parking with plans for a community center in the future. The mosque was informed that there was already a party interested in it. Allegedly, the mosque offered $55,000 which was declined as the city advised it was worth $72,000. Although selling the property to the mosque would take it off the tax rolls, the mosque could pay a PILOT as many other non-profits in the city do already. Inasmuch, after I began to ask a few questions, the blocks went up (coincidence?). While I agree that this city property should not be used for the residents to store personal property, it is vacant, city-owned property which does nothing for the city being surrounded by blocks. The $5000 spent on those blocks would have been better utilized to make it into a timed or permit parking area to at least get use out of it until a buyer came in. If nothing else, it may have increased the value.
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As for Mr. Erikson's comment about lowering the taxes by selling this to taxable buyer, the amount of taxes it would save the residents per year would not be enough for a gumball from their favorite vending machine. The city is yet to lower taxes by selling one of it's properties to a taxable purchaser. It's a nice thought, though, Councilman. I'm certain that the people would like to know when, if ever, the city has lowered taxes.
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What's done can't be undone as far as initially putting up the blocks. However, once the property is sold or reused, these blocks would make great use as barriers for blocking unauthorized vehicles from the Woodlawn Preserve.
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Respectfully submitted,
Joe Kelleher
Candidate for Schenectady City Council
www.kelleherforcouncil.com

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