Webster Leaders Discuss Concerns Over Xerox
Ron Nesbitt, the supervisor of the Town of Webster admits his concern, saying "I'm concerned for our employees that work at Xerox and that live in Webster because this could have a domino effect on the Town of Webster."
That’s what he told WXXI about news that Xerox will separate into two independent publicly traded companies.
Nesbitt explained his concern: "Maybe they do a quick sale because they need the money for another house in another area. The assessment in that area might go down, if we have too many. It throws everything out of balance. Then they're not here to go to the restaurants, the restaurants aren't making money...it's a domino effect and it hurts economic development for the town."
The mayor of the Village of Webster, John Cahill, admits he's worried about manufacturing job cuts.
"Perhaps with the spinning-off and retooling, different marketing will take place and maybe there would be potential for growth,” said Cahill. “When you get a new company in, new people running the company, maybe they have a different philosophy than Xerox had with respect to the printers."
Cahill adds he believes it's way too early to know what the final outcome will be.
Taxes have been an issue between Xerox and the town, village and school district. The company is suing for lower assessments, according to Nesbitt.
"They did sue us for 2012, 2013 and 2014 on their assessment. We have been working with them since March and that's all I can say about that right now...that we are still having conversations with them, and conversations are always good."
Nesbitt says he has an annual budget of $21 million.
"If that assessment goes away, what happens there is the assessment is then transferred back to the residential and you have to pay more in taxes."
A few years ago, the town of Webster bought a Xerox building for a new recreation center. Supervisor Ron Nesbitt told WXXI they also considered another building across the street to combine many town services. In his opinion, that building, and many on the Xerox campus, needs work.
"We got done looking at it; it was like a 20-million dollar project to move and everything. You could build a new building for that, so we got away from it. So they have some buildings, but they need some work."
Nesbitt sometimes feels like he gets mixed messages from Xerox.
"Last year, when they had the grand opening of the toner plant, which is a $125 million plant, they were talking about adding on to that. So, its mixed messages and we'll just see how this plays out."
A comment shared by Webster Mayor John Cahill who says he prefers to remain optimistic.
"I would hate to see the plants close down over there, so, hopefully, the new owners will have a very positive vision for Xerox manufacturing going forward."