Brooks pulls support for Medley Centre deal

- Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks is threatening to sue the owner of the empty mall in Irondequoit.

She delivered an ultimatum in her State of the County Address: Settle your debts, or else.

Her voice was loud and clear inside the Strong National Museum of Play on Wednesday, but she's not about to play any games with the Medley Centre. She's the latest elected official to pull her support for Scott Congel, the owner of the mall.

The county, the Town of Irondequoit, and the school district granted Congel tax breaks to redevelop the mall 5 years ago, but no work's been done. The mall has become an eyesore, and Congel has missed payments.

In her address, Brooks said enough is enough.

"This is an issue that goes beyond one developer and one project," she said. "You and I don't have the luxury of missing our tax payments. We don't get a pass when we don't pay our bills. We can not afford to hold developers or companies to a different standard."

Next week Brooks plans to tell the county's industrial development agency to pull the project's tax pilot agreement May 2 if payments are not made by May 1. 

A second resolution will authorize COMIDA to join the county law department in preparing legal action to hold the developer accountable for all monies owed, including PILOT and milestone payments.

Brooks joins newly elected Irondequoit Town Supervisor Adam Bello in her criticism of Congel. Bello says the Town plans to vote on a resolution next week to pull the PILOT on the May 1 deadline that was set this winter.

"It's time to stop subsidizing and put back on tax rolls and make him like every other business and homeowner in Irondequoit," he said.

Bello - who's a Democrat - says he was surprised and pleased that brooks - a Republican - had agreed to take action against Congel. He just took office in January, and Congel has accused him of playing politics by trying to score points with taxpayers.

We reached out to Congel tonight for comment, but have not yet received a response.

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