Seneca Lake resort tax deal approved

John Christensen
Rainbow Cove Resort on Seneca Lake at Plum Point, where the new owner is planning major improvements.

At their monthly meeting Nov. 15, following a public hearing where no objections were voiced, the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC) Board of Directors unanimously approved the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement for Hideaway on Seneca; the redevelopment of the Rainbow Cove Motel in Milo by Geneva investor David Bunnell. Bunnell previously built, owned, and operated Starkey’s Lookout Winery and Brewery at Glenora Corners in Starkey.

FLEDC CEO Steve Griffin explained that Bunnell is investing approximately $2.8 million in the project, which will create six new full time jobs and retain four and a half full time jobs. The base value of the property is $669,000, and the taxes paid on that value will continue. Taxes on the improvements Bunnell will add to the property will be phased in at 10 percent increments over the 10-year PILOT period.

The tax increase abatements total $164,920, including:

• $95,432 in property taxes over 10 years

• $50,088 in sales tax for construction

• $19,400 in mortgage tax for financing

Griffin says the total economic benefit compared to the incentives over the PILOT period is approximately 48:1, with paid wages and indirect benefits totalling $7,981,061.

In other business:

• New employee: After less than a year on the job, Steven Brown, FLEDC’s Economic Development Specialist, is leaving to accept a position with a Rochester area business that manufactures a tractor trailer airfoil device than improves fuel mileage.

Replacing Brown as Economic Development Specialist Jan. 2 will be Michael Lipari. A 2011 graduate of Champlain College in Vermont, Lipari comes to FLEDC after 5 years in the insurance industry as an agent and marketing representative.

Lipari is a native of the Rochester area, who graduated from Pittsford Sutherland High School in 2007 and went on to attend Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. He moved to Penn Yan in May.

“This new opportunity at FLEDC allows me to further my career while working toward something I am truly passionate about,” he said.

• POLE BARN: Yates County Soil and Water is constructing a pole building at the Horizon Business Park to store some of the organization’s equipment. Griffin says the building will occupy a small strip of land on the south side of the lot that wasn’t feasible for other business uses.