To the editor:
For more than 200 years, Cazenovia has been one of the main centers of commerce in Madison County; but with the changing marketplace we cannot continue doing business as usual. We must look elsewhere for new solutions for our changing economy.
Large shopping areas like Destiny USA have deeply impacted our small retail shops and restaurants. In our current economy our municipal governments (village, town and county) struggle to balance budgets to avoid tax increases. As a group, we Cazenovians are hardworking, taxpaying citizens, concerned about the preservation of our community and its natural resources.
Agri-tourism has been identified as one of the best sources of sales tax dollars with the least impact on the nature of our community. The Empire brewery project offers us an opportunity to add a business with the potential to create much-needed sales tax income via tourism dollars and job creation with acceptable development impacts.
Adding Empire Brewery to the beverage trail with Critz Farms and Owera Vineyards will stimulate new business and support existing businesses. Mr. Katleski of Empire is a Cazenovia resident and has shown willingness to work with the community to create a business mutually beneficial project that fits legally and aesthetically.
I hope that our municipal leaders see the current wave of commentary for what it is and base their decisions on the appropriate legal principles and the effect of this project on the benefit to the entire community.
CHAIRMAN OF GCACC