Calling For Additional Fact Finding Before Final Approval Of $485.5 Million To Solar City Project

New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) called on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to pause and gather more information before approving a $485.5 million appropriation to the Solar City Project in Buffalo at tomorrow’s Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) meeting.
 
In a letter to the legislative leaders, Leader Kolb expressed concerns that while a number of questions about the project have arisen, answers have been in short supply. On Monday, the Empire State Development Corporation held an informational briefing regarding the project, yet agency representatives were unable to provide answers to several questions and representatives from the Fort Schuyler Management Corporation— the SUNY Polytechnic Institute subsidiary serving as lead developer on the project— were not in attendance.
 
“Before any approvals are given I strongly encourage your representatives on the PACB to receive information, updates and assurances from all agencies and organizations with a role in the project,” Leader Kolb wrote. “We have a responsibility to spur economic development, but a greater responsibility to act prudently with public money. New York’s taxpayers have been asked to make a substantial financial commitment to this endeavor - the level of transparency and accountability on behalf of the state must be substantial as well.”
 
Leader Kolb expressed concerns with the sudden leap from a planned $10 million appropriation in the executive budget proposal and one-house budget bills to the $485.5 million now being considered. He also noted the project has lacked transparency and the proposed job creation estimate has dropped from 1,460 to 500 jobs without a concrete explanation.
 
The letter from Leader Kolb to Speaker Heastie and Sen. Flanagan is attached for reference: https://goo.gl/T1mNU1

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