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Hearings set on GloFo infrastructure funding

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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— The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency will hold three public hearings next month on GlobalFoundries’ request for help in financing $70 million in infrastructure to serve the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

The semiconductor maker is seeking agency support for paying for the work through tax increment financing, which could qualify the borrowing for a state economic development tax credit.

“It’s Global’s hope that down the road this will count as a [payment-in-lieu-of-taxes] payment, and it will qualify for the corporate tax credit,” said IDA CEO Larry Benton.

The company says the money will be used to pay for additional roads and water storage, electrical substation work and a larger natural gas supply line to serve the tech park.

Those improvements were all promised by state officials nearly a decade ago, but haven’t come to pass as state administrations have changed and the Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp., which was to build the park’s infrastructure, ran into financial trouble.

The IDA hearings are all scheduled for Monday, June 10, at 8 a.m. in Stillwater Town Hall; 8:45 a.m. in Malta Town Hall; and 9:45 a.m. in the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meeting room in Ballston Spa. Benton said there are three hearings because state law requires a hearing be held in each affected community.

The agency could act on the request at a meeting in Ballston Spa after the last of the public hearings, Benton said.

While the bond repayments would be a form of PILOT, GlobalFoundries is providing guarantees that the arrangement will not affect the company’s established PILOT payments to local governments, including Saratoga County, the two towns and the Ballston Spa and Stillwater central school districts.

GlobalFoundries’ $6.9 billion Fab 8 computer chip plant went into production last year and now has about 2,000 employees. Work started this spring on a $2 billion research center, and serious planning is under way for a second manufacturing plant that could bring total Fab 8 employment to more than 6,500 by 2020.

The company says it needs the promised infrastructure in place if it is to keep expanding.

 
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