WEEK AHEAD: RCSD considers big grant, COMIDA to vote on Xerox tax breaks, shaming animal abusers


The Rochester school board’s meeting this Thursday, July 25, should be interesting. Board members will likely discuss whether to accept a $1.2 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The grant’s main purpose is to help the district improve its systems efficiencies and to save money. But some board
members are skeptical of the foundation’s pro-charter and pro-business leanings.

The decision could open another conversation about the district’s participation in the compact with local charters to share information. An agreement was initiated under former Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard, but was later dissolved.

The board will also vote on a resolution to close School 44. Thursday’s meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the district’s central office, 131 West Broad Street. Tim Louis Macaluso

The Monroe County Industrial Development Agency will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 25, to vote on a package of tax breaks for Xerox.

The meeting’s location hasn't been made public, yet. [UPDATE: COMIDA's website says the meeting will be held at the board's usual meeting place, the Watts Conference Center, 49 South Fitzhugh Street.]

COMIDA held two public hearings on Xerox’s application last week. And the agency is holding two more public hearings this morning, both in Webster.

Xerox is deciding where it wants to locate its toner plant operations, and the Webster plant is one of the options. It is the only potential site in the United States.

Xerox officials have said that if the company does choose the Webster site, it’d invest $5 million to expand the building and another $30 million for equipment. The expansion would create the equivalent of 25 full-time jobs, says a summary of Xerox’s COMIDA application.

Xerox is seeking $441,508 in property and sales tax exemptions in return, the summary says. Company officials say they want to know what incentives would be available if they choose Webster. They’ll take the potential incentives into consideration as they evaluate the different sites.

But Webster town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt has spoken against incentives for Xerox. The company earned substantial profits last year, he says, while suing the town to get its assessment lowered. Xerox has also laid off many local workers, Nesbitt said.

Democratic County Legislator Willie Joe Lightfoot has introduced legislation to establish a countywide animal abuser registry. Legislature Democrats will hold a public meeting on the proposal on Thursday, July 25.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in room 204A of the Perinton Community Center, 1350 Turk Hill Road.

Under the legislation, people convicted of animal abuse crimes would have to register within 10 days of either their conviction or release from custody. Animal shelters and most larger “pet sellers” would be prohibited from selling, transferring, or adopting out animals to anyone on the list.

The legislation would put the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in charge of developing the registry’s rules. But the Humane Society of Greater Rochester — better known to many as Lollypop Farm — would maintain the registry.

A press release from the Democrats says that comments received during Thursday’s meeting will be shared with legislators of both parties. Jeremy Moule