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Congel Submits "Best and Final Offer" to School District

Mall owner and school district locked in battle over payments. School board is meeting tonight.
The East Irondequoit School Board will discuss Medley Centre at its board meeting Monday night.

The school district and Medley Centre have been locked in a fight over the mall's payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. 

The school district is demanding $3.8 million from Medley Centre owner Scott Congel for missing investment milestones in his PILOT agreement. Congel disputes that he missed the first milestone for investment. He has been offering $1.65 million to settle the issue. In a "best and final offer" submitted Monday and obtained by News 8, he upped the offer to $2.1 million.

The payments are an issue because Congel needs a new PILOT to secure financing and move forward with construction on the redevelopment project. A new PILOT requires the school district's consent. The two sides have been negotiating a settlement. So far, the school district hasn't budged.

"We need to be paid," said Assistant Superintendent John Abbott. "(Congel's offer) doesn't really address our need for certaintly in need for payments."

The school board could formalize its demand for payment at Monday night's meeting.

Congel also offered to allow the district to preserve its claims to the money, while still allowing the project to proceed.

Congel has said in previous communications to the district obtained by News 8 that failure to reach a settlement could have consequences. Arnold Rothschild, chairman of Rochester Broadway Theatre League, who is serving as his spokesman, said if the district doesn't agree to a new PILOT and settlement, the project will be dead and the matter will wind up in court.

In a statement, Congel said, "For two years, we have been frustrated and silent about our negotiations with the school district.  The school district is estimated to receive over $15 million in fees and payments from the project and they  are making  demands for more money we do not believe is  owed to  them.  They have  criticized us publicly for not moving the project forward, while throwing up road blocks to our doing so.  Instead, they insisted that we not only negotiate with their attorneys, but pay their attorneys as well.  We have offered to compromise or allow a judge to resolve our differences. We want to move this project forward to create jobs and economic development for the community."

Read Congel's "best and final offer" by clicking the link above.
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