Local News for Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Local Developer Seeks Tax Abatement for Market-rate Apartments

Ithaca-based developer Visum is seeking a tax abatement for its proposed Breeze apartments project at the site of the former Ithaca Gun factory. According to the Ithaca Voice, if the project, moves forward, Visum will be on the hook for completing lead abatement work to clean up contamination left by gun manufacturing and testing. Visum is requesting a $5.1 million abatement over the next 10 years for the project that would create 77 market-rate apartments. Over the same period it would still pay more than $3.5 million in taxes on improvements to the site. Visum says the project will provide a public benefit in the form of a bridge and island overlook above the iconic falls. Public comment on the proposal can be submitted to Ina Arthur at Ithaca Area Economic Development. The IDA will meet today at 2:30 to discuss the proposal and may decide on it as early as March. 

Elmira Has New Police Chief

Elmira’s Interim Police Chief assumed the role on a permanent basis yesterday. According  to WENY, Kristen Thorne who served as Interim Chief since January was promoted to chief by Elimira’s City Council on January 30. He replaced Anthony Alvernaz who left the department last month over a disagreement with the city saying at the time that he refused to “compromise his ethics.” The city has provided no further information on Alvernaz’s departure. 

The City of Ithaca launched a new search for its own police chief last week after Mayor Laura Lewis’s first pick failed to get approval from Common Council. According to the Ithaca Voice, the city approved a $50,000 expenditure to pay an unnamed firm to conduct a national search.

Event to Honor James Turner’s Legacy

The Tompkins County Office of Human Rights and Cornell’s Africana Studies and Research Center will present an event reflecting on the legacy of Dr. James Turner on February 28. Dr. Turner, who passed away in 2022, was the founding director of the Africana Center at Cornell, and an influential figure at Cornell in Ithaca for 53 years. The virtual discussion will take place on Tompkins County’s YouTube page linked at WRFI.ORG. Panelists will include Dr. Scott Brown, Dr. Carole Boyce Davis Rhodes, Kofi Acree, and Dr. Leslyn McBean-Clairborne.

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