Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Margie Swan of Cambria agreed, saying Yahoo didn’t need the abatements. The IDA needs to remember the residents, many of which are on unemployment or fixed incomes, she said.
“A multi-billion-dollar corporation doesn’t deserve all these tax breaks,” Swan said.
“The ultimate in being a good corporate citizen, paying your taxes like everyone else does,” said Donald Hobel of Wheatfield.
Attorney Andrea Sammarco, speaking on behalf of Lockport construction and real estate executive Glen Miller, said Yahoo was already in the town. There’s no need to draw them with incentives when they’re already here or to encourage them to build on their own property, she said.
Local small business owners aren’t getting this kind of break, some residents said.
“If we (small business owners) got a portion of what Yahoo is getting, we’d be able to contribute way more,” said David Mongielo.
On the other side, representatives of the town, schools and local not-for-profit groups touted the importance of the project and Yahoo as a corporate citizen.
Todd Fragale, president of the An-Jo Baseball League, said Yahoo paid $1,000 for a new infield drag and $1,200 for new dugouts and benches.
“Yahoo has been an excellent corporate citizen and sponsor. They’ve gotten involved in the community while other long-term companies have stood on the sidelines,” Fragale said.
Local school districts supported Yahoo. Newfane School Superintendent Christine J. Tibbetts sent a letter to the IDA board praising Yahoo’s work with the district, such as field trips and the company’s support of the district’s grant applications.
Bonnie Stafford, principal of Fricano Primary School in the Starpoint district, Yahoo bought materials for classroom projects for two of her teachers.
Mark Albiez, executive director of the Lockport Family YMCA, said Yahoo workers have spent many hours volunteering with the Y and Camp Kenan. The company is helping the camp to become more energy efficient.