Medina asked to not impose standard outside-village water rate at Business Park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 February 2022 at 8:39 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: DN Tanks applies a second coat of paint on Medina’s 3-million-gallon water tank in this photo from Aug. 8, 2016.

MEDINA – The Village Board is being asked to come up with a water rate for the Medina Business Park that would be only slightly higher than the village rate.

The village currently charges out-of-village users 1.6 times the village rate. That puts the community at a competitive disadvantage in attracting businesses to the site. Those companies compare costs at potential sites and water rates are a big factor, said Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Many businesses and site selectors reach out to the Orleans EDA about the Medina Business Park, which encompasses over 300 acres and is one of largest state-certified “shovel ready” in the region.

Barone said the land shouldn’t be considered an outside-user anyway after an agreement among the village, town, county and school district that gives the village a portion of the tax revenue even though the land south of Maple Ridge is outside the village.

This is the land known as the “Keppler Site” on the south side on Maple Ridge, just west of Bates Road.

“We’re responding to a number of very high level robust proposals,” Barone told the Village Board last week. “These companies expect to use large amounts of water.”

Barone urged the board to come up with a rate that the EDA can present to the prospective companies.

“Remember, we’re competing with several other areas,” she said. “We need to come up with a rate for outside users who are paying (village) taxes.”

The board said it would work on determining a rate and working with the EDA on how much to charge for water and sewer.

The EDA pitched the Medina Business Park as being conveniently located between Buffalo and Rochester, and also within 45 minutes of the Ontario, Canada border.

“With contiguous sites available ranging from 5 to 125 acres, Medina has the available infrastructure and incentive packages to make it a sought-after location for foreign and domestic companies looking to expand into New York State,” the EDA states in promoting the property.