continued “Quite honestly it will evolve over time [but] it will be a mix of both free and fee,” Wardell said.
The Victory Campus development will offer much more benefit to the community than just athletic fields, Pietropaoli emphasized. It will also bring jobs to Skaneateles, income for local businesses, an increase in the town tax base, rising values to surrounding properties and a state-of-the-art medical facility all can utilize. It will also increase the amount of community contributions already given by VSM.
Pietropaoli and VSM has a history of charitable giving to Skaneateles and surrounding towns that, he said, is being overlooked and ignored by project opponents, and he resents the implication that he is some sort of heartless developer with no ties to his community.
VSM donates gives free physicals to youth sports teams, provide scholarships to high school students and participates in numerous local charities and events, such as both community playgrounds builds, One for the Books, SkanRaces and Skaneateles Fire Department Field Days. In December 2008, Pietropaoli gave his entire staff an extra day off for Christmas and donated all the salaries that would have been paid that day to the Auburn Memorial Hospital Foundation to be used for patients with no money or insurance coverage. Pietrropaoli also donated money to the Auburn Community Soup Kitchen and he and his staff volunteered for a day serving at the soup kitchen.
“Yes, this is a business, and a business must be profitable, but to say only one person benefits from this? Tell that to our employees,” Pietropaoli said. “This is a good business. It will bring jobs and money. People don’t know how hard we’ve worked to build this and how much we contribute to this community. And just think how much more we will be able to contribute [when this is completed].”