BETHLEHEM — A new development at the Port of Coeymans is seeking $290,687 in local sales and mortgage recording taxes from the Bethlehem Industrial Development Committee.
Plans come from Carver Laraway, the Altamont businessman who owns the port and the Coeymans Recycling Center. Laraway expects to spend $3 million for his plans to construct a 72,000 square-foot warehouse that will employ 30 people.
Tax breaks given would be tied to job creation. The new space, located at 126 Southport Road, in the Port of Coeymans, which fronts the Hudson River, would be used to build cement bricks to be shipped down the river on barge to be used on the Tappen Zee Bridge Replacement project currently under construction in Tarrytown, which is set to be completed in the next two years.
According to Tom Connolly, executive director of Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency (IDA), there are many rules and exemptions here when it comes to tax breaks. Specifically, projects must be new commercial developments and funds may only be used for purchase of new building equipment. Because the Town of Coeymans is located within the Town of Bethlehem, a clause allows the IDA to give tax breaks to Town of Coeymans developments. Laraway has also gone to the Albany County IDA for past projects.
“The reason why is we’re trying to incentivize business owners. More taxable income more tax income comes more jobs,” said Connolly. Because the applicant is requesting over $10,000 in breaks, a public hearing will occur where the public is encouraged to advocate for or against the project.
According to Donald Zee, attorney to the applicant, funds would be used to buy new cranes for the site.
Zee also said project plans call for slight improvements to the Hudson River shoreline, allowing trucks carrying the weighty cement blocks to back up onto the barges. Laraway will also purchase new barges, as currently, the Port of Coeymans has 30, all of which are being used at max capacity.
Job creation would “mostly welders, fabricators,” Laraway told the IDA at its Friday, March 25, meeting, where Laraway’s Coeyman’s Recycling Center LLC gave an initial presentation, and a public hearing was set for their application.
The project will also appear before the Bethlehem Planning Board. Currently at the proposed location, Harris Rebar operates a business making concrete reinforcement bars. The company had planned to close in October, but Laraway enticed the business owners to stay by offering to build them a 41,000 square foot facility at his Coeymans Industrial Park, located uphill from the Port of Coeymans. Laraway says he can save 50 jobs with the business transaction, as Harris Rebar had planned to relocate out of state before Laraway intervened.
Harris Rebar pays about $33,000 in annual property taxes on the site to the Town of Bethlehem.
A public meeting for the IDA tax breaks will be held Wednesday, April 13, at 5:15 p.m. in Room 101 at Town Hall. The next opportunity for the IDA to act will be at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 22.