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Medley Mess Headed for Court

COMIDA votes to rescind tax breaks, take legal action, if mall owner doesn't pay up.
The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency voted to rescind Medley Centre's tax breaks and take legal action if the mall owner doesn't pay up by May 2.

Scott Congel owes $6.4 million in fees, penalties and other payments spelled out in his payment in lieu of taxes agreement. The deal was awarded five years ago, but there's been no progress redeveloping the nearly vacant mall.

County Executive Maggie Brooks asked the COMIDA board to take this action. She admitted there is a risk that the mall could be tied up in court proceedings for some time, without any development or tax revenue.

"Just because there's a risk doesn't mean we shouldn't go forward. These are public monies. We're fighting for taxpayers here. This was an important project for the community. If it's not going to go forward, we want to cut our losses and move on," said Brooks.

In a statement, Congel said, "We are going to continue communicating with the County and COMIDA to attempt to resolve our differences. It is a billion dollar project with thousands of jobs and it is our goal to move forward."

Arnold Rothschild, chairman of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, is in contact with Congel, who does not do media interviews. RBTL has been working with Congel to build a theater at Medley. Rothschild called the situation a "hot mess." He believes all parties should work out a settlement.

Click on the video above to hear from Brooks and watch a live interview on News 8 First at 4 with Rothschild.
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