PILOT deal could help apartment proposal takeoff

BROADALBIN-An Amsterdam developer is seeking a PILOT deal for a planned development at the former Broadalbin Elementary School.

Lee Fiacco, owner of DLF Properties of Amsterdam, said he is eyeing a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement with the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency as part of his goal to turn the building into apartments for senior living.

According to the website for the Fulton County IDA, “When an IDA holds title to the real property of a project, [state] law says all improvements on the property are exempt from all general real property taxes.”

A PILOT deal states that even though the project is tax-exempt, the company involved in the agreement will make certain payments to local taxing jurisdictions. The website said PILOTs consist of a percentage of the property tax that would otherwise be due on the property if the project had been completed without IDA involvement.

Fiacco said he is applying in hopes of avoiding any drastic increases in property taxes.

Fulton County Planning Department Director Jim Mraz said the IDA would handle the application for the PILOT.

According to Mraz, the IDA can only provide its own approval for a PILOT if it is in line with state law and the IDA’s uniformed tax exemption policy.

According to village clerk Sheila Bleyl, the school is zoned for senior living, but a building permit has not been approved yet.

“Broadalbin already thinks it’s fine if we have senior living there,” Fiacco said.

The building, located on School Street, would house 14 apartments, Fiacco said, with three acres of property to build a garden or walkway in. The school’s old gymnasium will be made into a meeting room, Fiacco said.

Fiacco purchased the building in 2012. A transfer report with the village said the building was bought for $130,000 from Bill and Dee Wade.

Classes at the former School Street building ended in June 1991 with all Broadalbin elementary grades being housed at the Primary School on Bridge Street starting in September 1991. The building also was the former Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services high school building until BOCES consolidated its facilities on Route 67 in 2006.