Ronald W. Nesbitt
Last week I was notified by a Democrat and Chronicle reporter that the Xerox Call Center, located in Building 200, would displace the current 400 working staff to a building next to Medley Center in Irondequoit. This came as a complete shock to me and the town board as we never received a courtesy call from Xerox or Conduent outlining any details of this move.
The news media made it sound like Conduent was adding jobs, but the real story here is that Webster will be impacted with a loss of 400 jobs promised to us by Xerox back in 2012. If you recall at that time it was a big story that Xerox was opening a call center in Webster and saving jobs. Hon. Chuck Schumer wrote a letter of support in the hiring of employees and Gov. Cuomo made the announcement and indicated that the state had negotiated with Xerox to finalize terms for the new call center.
The governor promised $5 million in state’s Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, $1 million grant from the Empire State Development Corp., and COMIDA gave them $271,000 in a tax abatement package. This was on top of the supposed $4.3 million Xerox put in to renovating Building 200. My question is to COMIDA and New York state is what percentage of these state and local tax dollars will residents see coming back to them for noncompletion of the original lease agreement?
Did the state and COMIDA give more of our hard earned tax dollars to open this new site at Medley Center? At this point in time, no one is talking about the financial package given out to the former Macy’s building to move these 400 employees to Irondequoit. I think we all would like to understand if double-dipping of our taxes dollars is going on here.
We all should be concerned and watching what next steps are being taken in regards to our state and local tax dollars paying for jobs twice in five years.
On April 21, the Webster Town Hall building located at 1000 Ridge Road will close for six months for extensive renovations to the building that was built back in 1956. We will be enlarging the restrooms, enhancing security inside the building during working hours, adding a lunch room for employees, upgrading the facilities inside the police department, enlarging the Building Department and Assessment areas, upgrading the interior of the building and taking out all of the asbestos left in the building.
During the time the town hall building is closed, all town business will be conducted at 1002 Ridge Road which is the address of the Van Ingen Court Building, the building with the blue roof right behind the present town hall. You will be able to pay your taxes there, get a dog license, apply for a building permit, get assessing papers and any other business you currently do at town hall.
The Webster Police Department will remain open to the public within the town hall building. If you have an emergency and need police assistance, please dial 9-1-1.
We are very hopeful that we will be back in the original town hall building come Nov. 1 if all aspects of construction are on time. We are confident that the $1.6 million renovations of the building will serve Webster residents well into the future without spending millions of dollars on a brand new building.
If you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at email@example.com
Column: Xerox moving 400 call center jobs
Ronald W. Nesbitt