AVON – The Village of Avon invited developers to give a special presentation Monday night on the planned apartment complex on Clinton Street, specifically to answer a flood of concerns over the potential impacts that the project could have on local taxes.
The developers, with PathStone Corporation, a regional community development and human service organization, propose a 60-unit apartment complex between Clinton Street near Avon Nursing Home and the shopping plaza behind Tom Wahl’s. The developers said that they are not in the project to make money but to provide a service to Avon.
“We’re not in it to make money,” said Kathie Bryan, senior vice president of property management and resident services for PathStone. “We intend to pay full taxes, and our income is regulated along with our rates, so we can’t make that much money.”
Robert Cain, a real estate developer with PathStone, said that the project will have a positive impact on Avon.
“Among other things, the project provides a housing opportunity for entry-level workers, existing service employees, recent college graduates, and empty nesters,” said Cain. “It will expand the Village tax base from $1,122 per year to an expected $60,963 per year on 7.2 acres. It empowers local employers by reducing turnover and expand by attracting new employees. You could argue that it increases productivity because employees have a shorter commute and they can spend that time at work.”
The dozen or so local residents who attended the presentation, however, were skeptical. Concerns were raised that increased housing will mean more families, and more children in Avon Central schools will increase taxes.
“To think you can add 5 to 6 percent more students to the school without an increase in the tax levy is ludicrous,” said Bill Nevin, retired postmaster of Avon. “Any multi-unit residential facility is going to stress the tax base.”
Other residents were concerned that the project will contribute to drainage problems in the Village. PathStone engineers said that the project will include two retention ponds to alleviate flooding problems.
“We’ve calculated the drainage based on 100 year storm events,” said Jess Sudol, project engineer with Passero Associates. “Will it handle a storm similar to what you guys saw this year? No, but we will be able to retain significant water.”
Sudol added that a road extension is also planned to connect Clinton Street and the shopping plaza behind Tom Wahl’s.
Avon Village Mayor Thomas Freeman said that he hopes the presentation cleared up misconceptions about the project. The project will now progress to a public hearing and a State Environmental Quality Review by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
According to PathStone’s website, they are a private, not-for-profit regional community development and human service organization providing services to farmworkers, low-income families and economically depressed communities throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Virginia and Puerto Rico. PathStone has operated a wide array of programs funded by federal, state, local, faith-based and private sources. They were formerly known as Rural Opportunities, Inc.
Members of the Avon Town Board and Avon Planning Board watched the presentation along with Dr. Aaron Johnson, who started his first day as superintendent of Avon Schools on Monday.