Hamilton H2O? Heck no!

H2O? Heck no!

Madison Marketplace is coming to town, but not village

By Willie Kiernan

After being denied Hamilton Village water privileges for a mixed-use shopping center on Route 12B in the town of Madison, Sphere Development has decided to forego a request for annexation and is in the process of designing their own water system for the project due to break ground this spring.

"My client was willing to pay a premium and I think Hamilton could have obtained financial benefits of these services," said Kathy Bennett, Sphere Development's representative.

The property in question is on Route 12B, an empty field across from D's Auto, and in the town of Madison though it is also in Hamilton's retail/industry related corridor. Sphere intends to build a facility for a new supermarket, another large anchor store and other businesses, including a couple of small restaurants.

"They first approached us for water and sewer and at this time we said, no, we won't do that," said Hamilton Mayor Sue McVaugh.

Bennett said Sphere officially requested village water and sewer on two separate occasions and were turned down. The property, in order to be annexed, would have to be connected to village property. The Mayor suggested they could request for annexation with D's Auto, or even purchase that property, to be connected with the airport, which the village owns.

"To annex property, you have to be adjacent," Bennett said. "They have studied the numbers and the addition of village taxes would be a financial burden that would hinder the project."

Bennett concluded that any annexation possibilities would be challenged by the town of Madison, which would lead to a state Supreme Court decision which would delay the procedure dramatically.

"It's our understanding that the town of Madison would oppose annexation," Bennett said.

Sphere Development officials claim the Cazenovia-based company is committed to the community and has pledged to hire only local workers. They started by contracting another local company, Patriot Enterprises, to handle all construction for the project. It is estimated that this development project could create 100 to 150 new and permanent jobs. Price Chopper, Tractor Supply Company and other national retailers are expected to anchor the 130,000-square-foot center.

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