Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

November 6, 2012

Town may give street to Yahoo!

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — TOWN OF LOCKPORT –– Town of Lockport Board members may be giving a portion of Crown Drive to Yahoo!, as the well-known Internet company is looking to expand.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said at a Monday meeting town officials were being asked to abandon a portion of the road, located within the town’s Industrial Development Agency Park. In order to expand its operations at the Lockport data center, Yahoo! wanted to have control of the site from Junction Road, east to IDA Park Drive. 

“The way they want to configure the building, it’ll cross over into the roadway,” Smith said.

The vote could come as early as Wednesday night’s meeting.

Last month, the town IDA Board of Directors approved a deal with Yahoo!, where the company would purchase a 12-acre piece of land adjacent to the data center for $194,850.

The parcel is located directly to the east of Yahoo!’s existing data center, a 30-acre facility between Crown Drive and IDA Park Drive and north of Enterprise Drive.

Yahoo! has 75 employees, recruited primarily from the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region according to the company, working in the Lockport data center, which opened in September 2010. The center opened in two phases, the first being a 124,000-square-foot, including an administrative center and three data wings. The second phase featured another 66,000-square-feet of data center space.

In 2009, the town IDA granted Yahoo! an 18-year property tax break, which included a 100 percent tax exemption for the first 10 years.

In other town news, residents can speak at a public hearing Wednesday on the town’s 2013 budget. That meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall on Dysinger Road.

After the hearing, it is expected the budget will be adopted.

The tentative $14.3 million spending plan features a spending increase of 2.46 percent or $345,699 and would require $5.5 million in taxes, roughly $51,455 or .933 percent increase from 2012. In the budget, Town of Lockport homeowners, for a home assessed at $100,000, would pay on average $695.92, a decrease of $6.42 from 2012.

In Carlisle Gardens and Lincoln Village subdivisions, where the average assessment is $110,000, the average tax bill would fall by about $7. In Lincoln Village, with its average assessment of $70,000, the tax bill would decrease by $4.50.

For the town water district, which does not include Carlisle Gardens or Lincoln Village, there will be a 23.74 percent increase in the water tax levy. But the increase in taxes is offset by the use of sales tax revenue in the town’s fire protection district budget lines. That reduced the fire district taxes by over 10 percent.

The budget carries a 2 percent salary increase for elected officials. Smith’s new salary would be $50,245, while the four councilmen would be paid $9,664 each, with the member chosen as deputy supervisor earning twice that. Town Clerk Nancy A. Brooks would be paid $49,813; Highway Superintendent David J. Miller $61,379; and Justices Raymond E. Schilling and Leonard G. Tilney Jr. $25,699 each.

• Councilman Paul W. Siejak said the town has collected $1,725 from its electronic recycling program so far in 2012. Lockport residents have recycled 26,590 pounds of electronic material.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.