Week Ahead: Council candidate wants a citizen-owned Midtown Tower


OK, this is kind of awesome.

Lisa Jacques, a candidate for Rochester City Council and a city business owner, is encouraging people to show up to Tuesday night’s Council meeting with $5,000 in hand to buy Midtown Tower.

Council is due to vote Tuesday night to sell the tower and an adjacent parking lot to Buckingham Properties, which will rehab the building for housing and commercial use.

Jacques is trying to make a point about the amount of public assistance the developer will receive for the project, including a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement through COMIDA, and $6.7 million in assistance from the city.

“This deal either represents total corruption by our city leaders, or our elected officials truly believe that downtown properties are worthless,” Jacques writes in a letter. “Either belief is unacceptable.”

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in Council chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street. Christine Carrie Fien

On Tuesday, the International Joint Commission will hold a hearing in Rochester on its Lake Ontario water levels plan. The hearing is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, 125 East Main Street. Anyone who wants to speak can register starting at 1:30 p.m.

The new Plan 2014 is based on a previous proposal, Bv7, which sought to allow more of a natural fluctuation in lake levels. The current plan, which has been in place since 1963, calls for keeping the water relatively stable. But the IJC says that more variability would benefit coastal habitats, particularly wetlands, which have been damaged under the existing plan. Lakeside property owners said proposal Bv7 would have caused too much erosion and damage.

Plans 2014 and Bv7 are similar in many ways, but there is one key difference. Plan 2014 incorporates trigger points, extreme high or low levels that will cause the IJC to take actions to moderate water levels. That’s done via a hydropower dam on the St. Lawrence River.

Xerox officials will appear before the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency to request tax incentives to possibly expand a toner plant.

COMIDA will hold public hearings on the proposal today (Monday, July 15).

Xerox is considering a 50,000-square-foot expansion of its Webster toner plant; company representatives have told local media that the decision hasn’t yet been made. A COMIDA summary says that the Webster site is under consideration, along with off-shore locations.

The summary says the expansion would be a $5 million investment and create the equivalent of 25 full-time jobs. The company also plans to invest $30 million in equipment, the summary says.

Xerox is seeking property and sales tax abatements amounting to $441,508 over 10 years, the summary says. But the summary also says that over the same period, the breaks would generate about $4 million in revenue from state income tax, property tax or payment in lieu of taxes revenue, and sales tax revenue.

Webster town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt has spoken out against the proposal. He told WROC channel 8 that the company is asking for the incentives at the same time it’s suing the town to get its assessment lowered.

The COMIDA board meets at noon on Tuesday, July 16, at the Watts Conference Center, 49 South Fitzhugh Street. The meeting agenda is available here. No vote is expected at tomorrow's meeting.Jeremy Moule

Project T.I.P.S. (Trust, Information, Programs, and Services) will hold an event in the Jefferson Avenue and Flint Street neighborhood. The group’s purpose is to rebuild trust between residents and law enforcement.

Group members will do door to door, anonymous community surveys from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and also engage residents in conversation about quality of life issues, and gather info about crime and violence. Members will also provide information about services including health care. The door to door visitors will include a police officer, firefighter, and two volunteers.

The event will continue with a community cookout and get together at Jefferson Avenue and Flint Street. Christine Carrie Fien