To the editor:
It is very unfortunate that the discussion about the proposed brewery is being characterized by some Cazenovians as a “them vs. us” situation. People objecting to Empire's brewery proposal per se are not doing so because they are against change. People supporting it are not doing so because they are interested only in the potential economics of it. In truth, none of the many people I have talked to about it, including those who have been posing questions and expressing concerns, are opposed to a brewery/restaurant/bakery in Cazenovia, just the proposed building and activities on that particular site.
They have given many valid reasons for their stated concerns, just as others have given valid reasons for supporting the idea in general (jobs, tourist dollars spent locally, etc.) Some of those have pointed to Critz's, which is a true family farm facility, and is not within the village. Nevertheless, a brewery in one of the many possible places on Route 20 East, outside the village, would be supported by just about everyone. What Cazenovia does not need is a divisive internal battle about the wrong things.
Empire's proposal takes legitimate advantage of the New York state tax breaks offered “craft” and “farm” breweries, check them out at: governor.ny.gov/press/07182012-craft-breweries and taxrates.com/blog/2012/10/30/new-york-exempts-farm-breweries-from-tax-filing-requirements/.
One of my chief concerns is financing, that is, who will be the owners along with Mr. Katlowski. Jason Emerson's article in the April 10 Republican on the April 8 meeting of the town planning board noted it was asked if it knew who the project's investors were in addition to Mr. Katlowski, and if it did not, could it ask that question of him. The answer after some back and forth was that it had never asked for that information before, which of course did not answer the question of whether it could, should and would.