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Madison: Sphere spouts SEQR

Sphere spouts SEQR

Madison Planning Board meeting to address environmental issues

By Willie Kiernan

republican@cnylink.com

The Madison Town Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 27 in the Madison Central School auditorium regarding Sphere Development's shopping center proposal, Madison Marketplace, on Route 12B just outside the village of Hamilton.

"It's very controversial, I understand that," said Brian Gazba, Madison Planning Board Chairman.

Located outside the village of Hamilton in the town of Madison, the proposed 130,000-square-foot project will supply space for national tenants including Price Chopper, Tractor Supply Company and other national retailers, including apparel stores, quick casual restaurants and service providers.

The controversy began when Sphere asked for Hamilton Village water services. They were informed that these services were available but only if they annexed into the village.

"They have studied the numbers and the addition of village taxes would be a financial burden that would hinder the project," said Kathy Bennett, Sphere Attorney. "My client was willing to pay a premium and I think Hamilton could have obtained financial benefits of these services."

Gazba suggested that the water services could've meant around $100,000 per year for Hamilton.

"Why not consider the water issue," Gazba said. "It's been done with other municipalities.

Gazba said Hamilton could've negotiated quite a deal for water and sewer services.

"As far as providing water and sewer services to an out of town customer, the village of Hamilton has a long-standing policy, not unlike other villages in the area such as Cazenovia, that village services are supplied only to properties in the village," said Hamilton Mayor Sue McVaugh. "The Sphere people knew this from the beginning, and made a decision that they did not want to annex to the village and would develop their own on-site water and wastewater systems. Certainly that was their decision to make, and we respect that."

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