April 1, 2009: Belleayre Resort a win-win proposal

in

To The Editor:
Scott Gould and Bev Rainone got it wrong on Crossroads. Here’s the correct information. They allege taxpayers have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on SEQR. Not true! Crossroads paid virtually all these costs ourselves.
They allege storm water will be pumped into the sewage treatment plant. Not true! Storm water never goes into the sewer system. We’ll pay to construct a system to capture storm water runoff so it won’t hurt the surrounding environment. As for water or sewer lines to be built, all of them will be paid for by Crossroads, not taxpayers.
They say we’ll dump raw sewage into the Pine Hill sewage treatment plant. Of course we will. What else would you dump into a sewage treatment plant? This treatment plant is so under-utilized operators must pump extra water into it just so they have enough fluid to process. We’ll pay for our connections and then we’ll pay fees for the sewage we contribute.
There will only be one chair lift built on private property to serve resort guests and, Crossroads, not taxpayers, will pay for it. All Belleayre skiers can use it, not just our guests.
They say we didn’t consider the burden to people who are using local roads. Not true! We’ve spent thousands of dollars on traffic studies to analyze and quantify the burden. Studies prove state and country roads are more than adequate to handle the new traffic. Further, the increase in traffic will, for the most part, occur not when local people are driving to or from work, but rather on weekends and holidays when local traffic is generally at lower levels.
With their closing question “Has anyone seen sketches of the 19 ridge-top buildings or any of the spa resort?” they say we tried to mislead, misinform and hide facts. Not true! The fact is that once the Agreement in Principle was signed, the project and the lodging units they reference all had to be completely re-designed for a Supplemental Draft Environ-mental Impact Statement we must do. When drawings are done, everyone will see them in yet another public hearing.
Here’s what they didn’t say. We’ll pay more than $2 million a year in property taxes as soon as the hotels open and about $3.8 million within 10 years of opening. We provide $112.7 million in wages for construction and $24.85 million annually to resort employees when the resort is fully operational.
Total construction spending is estimated at $364.72 million and will generate an average of 218 full-time jobs a year every year for 10 years in addition to 541 permanent, full-time jobs and 230 part-time jobs when done. The state gets another 1,200 acres of forever-wild land available for public use, LEED certified green buildings, New York’s first organic golf course, visitor-paid sales and bed taxes and millions more in spin-off business to others. This is a win-win for everyone.

Joan Lawrence-Bauer,
Crossroads Ventures,
Mt. Tremper